Education
Graduation. Photo/Flickr – Josh Thompson Graduation. Photo/Flickr – Josh Thompson  

The Daily Caller grades this year’s notable college commencement speakers [SLIDESHOW]

Spring is in the air, except in places such as Arkansas, where global warming has caused the latest snowfall since records began in 1819. Or something. Anyway, the point is that college commencement season is upon us.

While most schools — especially in these cash-strapped times — tap a halfway-successful alum or maybe a local demagogue, some schools manage to score a national politician or pony up a big wad of cash to bring in somebody prominent or otherwise famous.

Here, in the slideshow below, is The Daily Caller’s take on 16 well-known personalities who will speak at commencement ceremonies around the country in 2013.

Robby Soave contributed to this report. 

Follow Eric on Twitter and send education-related story tips to erico@dailycaller.com.

Click an image below for larger version.
  • <strong>Bill Clinton</strong> will speak at Howard University. You may hate the man, but he remains arguably the best feel-good orator in the solar system. <strong>A+</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images/Jewel Samad)
  • New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (Photo: Getty Images /Oli Scarff)
  • <strong>Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa</strong> is the nobody replacing Ben Carson at Johns Hopkins University after a bunch of leftists protested, causing Carson to graciously step aside. <strong>F-</strong>. (Photo: Facebook)
  • <strong>Vice President Joe Biden</strong> will give the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania. He's hilarious, in his goofy way, but he'll talk until late Tuesday night and say nothing of substance. Ivy Leaguers deserve better. <strong>C+</strong>. Photo: Getty Images/Mark Wilson
  • Duke University is bringing in <strong>Melinda Gates</strong>, a rich dude's wife, who gives away the rich dude's money. Whatever. <strong>F</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • These kids today. They love <strong>Stephen Colbert</strong>. So good for the graduates of the University of Virginia. <strong>B+</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • President <strong>Barack Obama</strong> already spoke at Ohio State and is slated to speak at both Morehouse College and the United States Naval Academy. He can't run for anything now, though, so what can he say that will be memorable? What has he ever said that is memorable? <strong>B</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images/Alex Wong)
  • <strong>Julie Andrews</strong> will speak at the University of Colorado. The hills are alive with the sound of muted applause. <strong>C-</strong>.(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
  • <strong>David Brooks</strong> is slated to give the 2013 baccalaureate address at the University of the South. Brooks is something of a prominent intellectual of our time, yes, but isn't that really just a scathing indictment of our time? <strong>D</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • <strong>His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Spiritual Leader of Tibet</strong> will be the keynote speaker at Tulane University. Big hitter, the Lama. Long. And this selection has to be good karma. <strong>A-</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • <strong>Oprah Winfrey </strong>will speak at hallowed Harvard University. Way to be at least 10 years behind the curve, Harvard. <strong>C-</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • What are the odds that both The New School in Manhattan and Ripon College in Wisconsin would book <strong>Nate Silver</strong>, America's trendiest statistician? He does seem to be able to predict the future, though. That's something. <strong>B</strong>. (Photo: Creative Commons/randy stewart from Seattle, WA)
  • First Lady <strong>Michelle Obama</strong> will speak at Eastern Kentucky University and Bowie State University. Lettuce and skim milk will be served. No word yet on how many jumping jacks and abdominal crunches will be required. <strong>D+</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images/Saul Loeb)
  • Former presidential candidate <strong>Mitt Romney</strong> will speak at Southern Virginia University, a small private school where the majority of the students are Mormons. Nobody has heard much from Mitt in awhile, so his visit is a good score for the school. Certainly, it could be interesting. <strong>B</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images)
  • Plagiarist <strong>Fareed Zakaria</strong> is the scheduled speaker at the University of Oklahoma. It would be hilarious if he opens up his speech saying, "Four score and seven years ago…" <strong>F</strong>. (Photo: Getty Images/David L Ryan)