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Apr 19, 2017 12:10 PM EDT

College commencement exercises are an exciting moment for students because it begins a new phase in their life as well as the end of their lives as a student. But what makes commencement exercises more interesting are the colorful speakers that get invited to speak before the students. Here are some of the college commencements speakers this 2017.

Claudia Rankine

Wesleyan University will have Claudia Rankine as their college commencement speaker. Rankine is a celebrated poet, essayist, and playwright. Some of her works include "Don't Let Me Be Lonely" and "Nothing In Nature Is Private."

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell, who has been known in his comedic roles in Elf and Anchorman, takes time off as an actor and deliver an encouragement before students of the University of California on May 12, 2017.

Mark Zuckerberg

The CEO and founder of Facebook will speak before hundreds of students of Harvard University on May 27, 2017.

Mike Pence

Vice-President Mike Pence will be the commencement speaker at Notre Dame University on May 21, 2017.

Tim Cook

MIT students will have the honor to hear words of wisdom from Apple CEO Tim Cook on June 9, 2017.

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama has become not only a religious figure but also an inspiration for people around the world. On June 17, he will continue to inspire the students of the University of California - San Diego.

Joanne Liu

Joanne Liu is the president of Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian NGO that provides medical services in war-torn areas around the world. This inspirational woman will be the college commencement speaker of Bernard College on May 17.

Oprah Winfrey

TV personality and Queen of Talk Shows Oprah Winfrey will be the speaker of Smith College and Skidmore Colleges on May 20 and 21 respectively. Smith College is located in Northampton, Massachusetts and Skidmore College is in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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