In the tradition of commencement speeches, repetition is inevitable. Year after year, influential speakers offer graduates a relatively familiar message, telling them to change the world while seizing opportunities and overcoming fears of failure. This year, many speakers have added a new topical piece of advice to the rotation: don’t behave like Donald Trump.
Several 2016 commencement speakers—from actors to politicians—have admonished the Republican presidential nominee, mentioning him either directly by name or with references to his policies. With their speeches on Friday, both Michelle Obama and Matt Damon joined the mix.
Some speakers have made reference to Trump’s repeated promise to build a border wall and get Mexico to pay for it, while others have referenced his call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and his tendency to resort to name-calling tactics with rivals. (Notably, some of the same speakers also took shots at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, by mentioning his promises of free college and Wall Street reform.)
Here’s what they had to say:
The President of the United States addressed graduates at Rutgers University on May 15.
The First Lady spoke to spoke at City College of New York on June 3.
The Good Will Hunting actor spoke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on June 3, mentioning the idea that reality could actually be a computer-generated simulation.
The Huffington Post editor-in-chief spoke at Colby College on May 22:
Huffington also gave the address at Hunter College on June 2.
The Secretary of State addressed graduates at Northeastern University on May 6.
The Democratic Massachusetts Senator spoke at Suffolk University on May 22.
Earlier, speaking at Bridgewater State University’s commencement on May 14, she mentioned her ongoing feud with Trump.
The creator and star of Broadway hit Hamilton addressed graduates at the University of Pennsylvania, where Trump’s daughter graduated this year.
“In a year where politicians traffic in anti-immigrant rhetoric, there is also a Broadway musical reminding us that a broke, orphan immigrant from the West Indies built our financial system, a story that reminds us that since the beginning of the great unfinished symphony that is our American experiment, time and time again, immigrants get the job done.”
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee spoke at Trine University on May 7.
Maria Elena Salinas
The Univision anchor said journalists were often unfairly vilified by politicians, mentioning Trump, and was met with boos from the audience at California State University, Fullerton on May 22.
The Republican Kansas Senator spoke at Friends University on May 7.