Notable Speakers



Connecticut College draws speakers of note from across disciplines and across the globe. Following is a selection of some of the College’s recent guests. Also see the complete list of Commencement speakers since 1919.

Dorothy Allison
author

Tim Armstrong ’83
AOL, chair and CEO

Benjamin Barber
political theorist

Geoffrey Batchen
professor of history, CUNY, author

Jack Bogle
founder, retired CEO, Vanguard Group

Louise Bourque
filmmaker

Joseph Brodsky
author

Bunyan Bryant
environmental justice scholar

Chiang Chien-fei
artist

Sandra Cisneros
author

Karen Levin Coburn
co-author of "Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years"

Michael Cunningham
author

Junot Diaz
author

Dan Flynn
political author

Ben Fountain
author

Howard Gordon
Emmy-award winning television writer,

Elizabeth Kolbert
New Yorker staff writer

Jeff Idelson '86
president, Baseball Hall of Fame

Judy Irving
documentary filmmaker, "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill"

Bill T. Jones
artistic director, founder, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co.

Nicholas Kristof
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times

Jhumpa Lahiri
author

Winona LaDuke
environmental and indigenous rights activist

Tod Machover
professor of music and media, director of MIT Media Lab's "Opera of the Future"

Robert Mankoff
cartoonist, cartoon editor, The New Yorker magazine

Dr. Luc Montagnier
researcher, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus

Mandy Patinkin
actor, singer

Orlan
performer, visual artist

ZZ Packer
author

Adrienne Rich
poet

Faith Ringgold
author, artist

Cokie Roberts
political commentator, journalist

Jeffrey Sachs
economist

Martin Santangelo
director of Noche Flamencas, Spanish Flamenco dance company

Tedd Saunders ’83
executive vice president, director of environmental affairs, Saunders Hotel Group; president of EcoLogical Solutions Inc.

Matt Simmons
chair of Simmons & Co, energy investment banking firm

Peter Singer
philosopher

Anna Deavere Smith
actress, performing artist and founder of the Institute on Arts and Civic Dialogue

Amy Tan
author

Hanna Tinti
author

Jeffrey Toobin
CNN analyst and author

Chinary Ung
composer

Cornel West
professor of religion, Princeton University

Naomi Wolf
feminist, author

Richard Zannino P’09
former CEO, Dow Jones & Co.