Each year American Jewish University selects a commencement speaker from the outside community to address our graduates and their families, as well as honoring several community members who exemplify the values of the institution. The featured speaker and honorees are an important part of the commencement celebration, and we appreciate their contributions both to AJU and the larger community.

Over the years, AJU is proud to have honored the following individuals:

  • Past Commencement Speakers

    2018    Rabbi David Wolpe

    2017    Richard Sandler

    2016    Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    2015    Joe Hicks

    2014    Ruth Messenger

    2013    Hon. Zev Yaroslavsky

    2012    Norman Eisner

    2011    Dr. Jonathan Brown

    2010    Dr. Steven B. Sample

    2009    Dr. Warren Bennis

    2008    Dr. Jack Miles

    2007    Leonard Kleinrock

    2006    Dr. Robert Alter

    2005    Reverend Cecil Murray

    2004    Dr. Bernard Lewis

    2003    Gordon Davidson

    2002    Cong. Henry Waxman

    2001    Cong. Howard Berman

    2000    Connie Bruck

    1999    James Watson

    1998    Bill Richardson

    1997    Richard Riordan

    1996    Prof. Alice Shalvi

    1995    Harry Heinz Schwartz

    1994    Dr. Sergio Della Pergola

    1993    Gail Dorph

    1991    Dr. Uri Herscher

    1990    Prof. Moshe Lazar

    1987    Judith Glass, Ph.D.

    1986    Phillip Levine

    1982    Gerson D. Cohen

    1981    Donald P. Merrifield

    1980    Alfred Wolff

    1975    Rabbi Paul Dubin

    1972    Wilson C. Riles

    1968    Mrs. Georgina Hardy

  • Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa

    2018    Ed Robin

    2018    Louis Miller

    2017    Joyce  Brandman

    2017    Frederick Simmons

    2016    Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer

    2016    Jeffrey Glassman

    2015    Vicki  Reynolds

    2015    Irwin Field

    2014    Molly Forrest

    2014    Oliver Gunther

    2013    Marvin Selter

    2013    Monty Hall

    2012    Virginia Maas

    2011    Rabbi Elliot Dorff

    2011    Mrs. Annette Shapiro

    2010    Richard Gunther

    2010    Dena Schechter

    2009    Peachy Levy

    2009    Mark Levy

    2009    Rabbi Joel Rembaum

    2009    Lois Rothblum

    2008    Guilford Glazer

    2008    Judge Joseph Wapner

    2007    Ernie Auerbach

    2007    Metuka Benjamin

    2007    Dr. Bruce Powell

    2006    Leonard Shapiro

    2006    Richard Ziman

    2005    Dr. Steven Spiegel

    2005    Marilyn Ziering

    2004    Irma Colen

    2004    Lou Colen

    2003    David Dortort

    2002    Frank Maas

    2001    Dr. Ruth Gruber

    2001    Bruce Whizin

    2000    Dr. Charles Kleeman

    2000    Simha Lainer

    1999    Rabbi Harold Kushner

    1999    Carneb Warschaw

    1998    Alexandra Levine

    1998    Harvey Silbert

    1997    Professor Laurence Roger Simon

    1996    Anthony Beilenson

    1995    Rabbi Ben Zion Bergman

    1995    Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin

    1994    Edmund Edelman

    1994    Elieser Slomovic

    1993    Mary Elizabeth Moore

    1993    Uri Urscher

    1993    Max Zimmer

    1992    Milton Gordon

    1992    Ruth Hirschman

    1991    Jack Gindi

    1991    Dr. Samson Levey

    1991    Dr. Seymour Martin Lipset

    1990    Prof. Abraham Becker

    1990    Rabbi Harold Schulweis

    1987    Arnold J. Band Ph.D

    1987    Leonard Baskin

    1987    Rabbi Alfred Wolf, Ph.D

    1986    Aaron M. Wise

    1985    Rabbi Jacob Pressman

    1984    Rabbi Hershel Brooks

    1984    Dr. Herman Feifel

    1984    Rabbi Joseph Hurwitz

    1984    Reverend Donald Merrifield

    1984    Rabbi Shimon Paskow

    1984    Rabbi Morris Rubinstein

    1984    Rabbi Seymour Shalom Stern

    1982    Rabbi Solomon Rothstein

    1982    Rabbi Jack Schechter

    1982    Rabbi Wilfred Solomon

    1982    Rabbi Mervin Tomsky

    1982    Harold Williams

    1981    Mr. Jack Ostrow

    1981    Rabbi Jack Riemer

    1980    Rabbi Edgar Magnin

    1980    Rabbi Harry Silverstein

    1980    Rabbi David Weiss

    1976    Rabbi Henry Kraus

    1976    Dr. Claude Welch

    1975    Rabbi Ben Zion Bergman

    1975    Rabbi Marvin Bornstein

    1975    Rabbi Martin Douglas

    1975    Rabbi Melvin Goldstine

    1975    Rabbi Pinchas Lion Goodblatt

    1975    Louis Shub

    1975    Rabbi Joshua Stampfer

    1975    Rabbi Julian White

    1974    Rabbi Hillel Silverman

    1974    Irwin Soref

    1972    Dr. Shlomo Bardin

    1972    Rabbi Maurice  Lazowick

    1970    Dr. Victor Goodhill

    1970    Dr. Moshe Perlman

    1970    Rabbi Jacob Pressman

    1968    Rabbi David Cohen