Richard Engel announced as 2015 Commencement speaker

Jan. 26, 2015, 8:58 a.m.

This morning, the Stanford senior class presidents announced that Richard Engel ‘96 would deliver the 2015 commencement address.

“By choosing Richard Engel to deliver the 2015 Commencement address, the President’s Office has chosen an impassioned and tenacious speaker who will be able to deliver a relevant address which we think will inspire members of the Class of 2015 to engage with the world beyond whatever path our classmates choose after graduation,” wrote senior class president Connor Kelley ‘15 in the email to the Class of 2015.

Engel, who graduated with a degree in international relations, now serves as the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News after nearly 20 years of covering major international events. He was the only American television journalist to remain in Baghdad for the entire Iraq War, and was kidnapped and held for five days while covering the Syrian civil war in December 2012.

“Richard Engel has worked tirelessly and courageously to translate the most important international issues of our time for the American public and the world,” said University President John Hennessy in a Stanford News Service press release. “As a Stanford alumnus speaking to our new graduates, he can share firsthand what it means to be a truly global citizen.”

Vernon E. Jordan Jr. was also announced as the Baccalaureate speaker for the Class of 2015. Jordan was a leader of the civil rights movement and a former director of the United Negro College Fund. He also served as a political advisor to President Bill Clinton from 1992-3.

“[Jordan] will speak to very relevant issues that have captured the interest of many people on campus, including our class members,” wrote the class presidents. “We hope that together, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Engel will offer a number of insights about taking risks, finding one’s own path in life, and creating a unique place in the world.”

The 2015 Commencement ceremony will take place on June 14, 2015. Last year, Bill and Melinda Gates were the keynote speakers.

“I look forward to talking to the graduates about what I’ve seen and learned over the years, exploring war zones, watching nations and societies smash into each other with tragic consequences, “ Engel told the Stanford News Service. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to inspire some of these amazing young men and women to take a chance and stare fearlessly into the bright light outside the cave. I thank Stanford for this tremendous honor.”

Contact Jana Persky at jpersky ‘at’


Jana Persky is the president and editor in chief of Volume 246 of The Stanford Daily. She previously worked as a sports desk editor, news desk editor and managing editor of staff development at The Daily, and is majoring in Public Policy. Jana is a junior from New Canaan, Connecticut, who doesn't want to tell her mom and dad she likes the West Coast better. To contact her, please email [email protected].

Login or create an account

Apply to The Daily’s High School Summer Program

deadline EXTENDED TO april 28!