Liberal Speakers Dominate Graduation Ceremonies

RESTON, VA – YAF’s 30th annual Commencement Speaker Survey reveals that unsurprisingly, conservative voices were shut out from the 2022 spring commencement season.

For the past 30 years––since Young America’s Foundation has been keeping tabs on commencement addresses––a disproportionate number of speakers at our nation’s top colleges and universities have been liberal ideologues, big donors to liberal causes, and members of the woke media.

YAF’s Commencement Speakers Survey scrutinizes the commencement addresses given at the top 100 national universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. With 53 liberal speakers imparting progressive ideas and just 3 conservatives addressing graduates, the bias in this year’s commencement season is undeniable.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, former NFL Quarterback Tim Tebow, and Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis are the only three prominent conservatives who have been invited to speak this commencement season.

The Class of 2022 will hear divisive speeches from many left-wing speakers with a history in social justice and “anti-racism,” including Ken Jeong and Dwayne Wade. Harvard University is welcoming New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, notorious for her tyrannical response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite his sinking poll numbers and rising inflation, President Joe Biden himself is scheduled to speak at University of Delaware’s commencement––so long as he can remember to show up on time.

Other outspoken liberals who will be speaking at some of America’s top-rated schools include Kal Penn, Deval Patrick, Taylor SwiftSamantha Power, and Bob Woodward.

Where are leading conservatives like Ron DeSantis, or Peter Schweizer who has a NYT best-selling book on China’s influence? Where are leaders like Kristi Noem or Ted Cruz, who led the charge against government overreach during COVID?

Even as Americans are beginning to wake up and wholly reject the Left’s disastrous economic policies and culture wars, America’s universities are working overtime to rehab the Left’s failing image. It’s truly sad that up until their very last day of school, students are being indoctrinated by speakers with a clear ideological agenda––people who have no intent on giving an actual inspiring, powerful sendoff to our future leaders.

YAF determines speaker ideology by surveying speakers’ public FEC records, searchable public statements and endorsements, and service in elected or appointed office. Speakers were included only if they were acting in the capacity of a keynote speaker and addressing a comprehensive graduation ceremony (10 speakers had unclear ideological affiliations and 36 schools had various speakers, no primary speaker(s), a university administrator as speaker, or no speakers announced yet). The full research is downloadable here.

For more information or to request an interview, contact YAF Spokeswoman Kara Zupkus at