Below are the 2021 Commencement speakers:


Madeline Owen Valedictorian 2021

Madeline Owen, Valedictorian

Madeline Owen of Columbus, Ohio, has been named valedictorian of the 2021 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during the 176th University Commencement Ceremony on May 23 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium.

Alexis Waldschmidt Salutatorian 2021

Alexis Waldschmidt, Salutatorian

This year’s salutatorian is Alexis Waldschmidt, a biological sciences and Chinese double major. As the salutatorian, she will offer the Commencement invocation and will be prepared to deliver a valedictory address should the valedictorian be unable to do so.


Carla HarrisLaetare Medal

Carla Harris Laetare 2021

Carla Harris, distinguished business leader as well as a celebrated gospel singer, speaker and author, will be awarded the University of Notre Dame’s 2021 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics, at the 176th University Commencement Ceremony on May 23 (Sunday).

News Release

Jimmy Dunne Commencement Speaker 2021
Jimmy Dunne

Jimmy Dunne, Commencement Speaker

Jimmy Dunne, a University of Notre Dame Trustee and alumnus who in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, led the recovery of his company while also providing compassionate and meaningful care to the families of the firm’s employees who lost their lives, will serve as the principal speaker and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at Notre Dame’s 176th University Commencement Ceremony on May 23 (Sunday). 

News Release


For a listing of previous commencement speakers, please visit the Archives page.