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Asterisk (*) indicates recipient of the Maharishi Award

Commencement Speakers

  • William Ellinghaus, President of AT&T
  • Jim Leach, Former U.S. Congressman and Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Norman Rosenthal, M.D., South African author, psychiatrist, and scientist
  • Candy Crowley*, American news anchor
  • Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator from Iowa
  • Jim Carrey*, Actor, author, artist, and philanthropist
  • Yukio Hatoyama, Former Prime Minister of Japan
  • David Lynch, World famous filmmaker and founder of the David Lynch Foundation

Government Leaders

  • Robert Ray, Governor of Iowa
  • Thomas Vilsack, Governor of Iowa
  • Terry Branstad, Governor of Iowa
  • Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator from Iowa
  • Chen Chung-Ming, Chinese Minister of Health

Business Leaders

  • Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart
  • William Zimmerman, Founder of Pick ‘n Save


  • Eugene Wigner*, Nobel Laureate in Physics
  • Brian Josephson*, Nobel Laureate in Physics
  • ECG Sudarshan, Award-winning Indian-American physicist
  • Marvin Minsky, American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AI laboratory


  • John Ikerd*, American economist, proponent of sustainable agriculture and author
  • Hazel Henderson*, Futurist, economist, consultant on sustainable development, author


  • Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist
  • David Lynch, Award-winning film director and author
  • Doug Henning, Legendary Canadian magician
  • Donovan*, Scottish singer and songwriter
  • Mike Love, founding member of the Beach Boys
  • Moby, American musician
  • Joe Namath, Hall of Fame football player


  • Mark Victor Hansen*, American speaker, trainer, and author, founder and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series
  • Jack Canfield*, American speaker, trainer, and author, founder and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series
  • Stephen Covey*, American educator, author, businessman, and speaker, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Reverend Michael Beckwith* — Minister and author

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