Laughs, tears, inspiration: 2012 commencement speakers
Graduation season is in full swing, and some of the world's most inspirational people are sitting down to write a few thousand words that will inspire, entertain and encourage millions of students nationwide. From Oprah Winfrey to Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and everyone in between, this year's commencement speakers have the daunting task of putting a positive spin on our ever-changing world. Who are these people and how have they managed to become the movers and shakers of our planet?
• Condoleezza Rice - One of the most inspiring women of our time, Rice entered the spotlight during George W. Bush's reign as the President of the United States and managed to hold her own as the Secretary of State. Along with her career achievements, Rice is a superb concert pianist. By balancing her passions with her profession, she represents everything that men and women can become.
• Bill Nye "The Science Guy" - A TV host and environmental advocate, Bill Nye has spread education to the masses and continues to call people to action. His children's television program inspired young minds to pursue science, engineering and technology, and even those who study massage therapy or liberal arts have a few Nye lessons tucked under their arm. During this year's commencement speech, Nye honed in on the planet's most pressing issue: global warming.
• Steve Carell - Known for his portrayal as Michael Scott in the hit television show "The Office," Carell has laughed his way through his career as an actor and comedian. Never one to fit the mold, Carell has changed the face of comedy by writing groundbreaking and award-winning screenplays. With his light-hearted message, Carell will likely bring tears of joy and laughter to the class of 2012.
• President Barack Obama - Barry, as he was called by his closest friends in high school, is the epitome of the American Dream. Raised by a single mother in Hawaii, he rose to the top of his class and went on to go to college at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country. His commencement speech outlines how much has changed since he was in college, but the message remains clear: this year's graduating class is the key to the future of our nation.