Techiest college commencement speakers of 2013

An Apple co-founder, a powerful tech philanthropist and a gaming visionary among tech business stars delivering commencement addresses this spring

tech commencements

The 2013 college commencement season is nearly upon us and schools have started boasting about their big catches as commencement speakers, including a healthy dose of technology luminaries and tech business honchos. The tech industry has been well represented over the years, with everyone from Steve Jobs (Stanford, 2005) to Bill Gates (Harvard, 2007) sharing words of wisdom. Here’s a rundown of this year’s techiest speakers (and we’ll add more as they’re announced):

RELATED: 2012 techiest commencement speakers

Steve Wozniak, UC Berkeley, May 18

Steve Wozniak, UC Berkeley, May 18

What would a college commencement season be without at least one speech by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who in the past has delivered keynotes to new grads at Michigan State University and Santa Clara College. Woz earned a degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986. Wozniak is now chief scientist for Fusion-io.

Melinda Gates, Duke University, May 12

Melinda Gates, Duke University, May 12

The businesswoman and philanthropist, who co-chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her famous husband, will deliver the commencement address at her alma mater, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics in 1986, followed by a master’s degree in business administration from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1987. Gates used to work at Microsoft, where she was part of the multimedia products team.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, MIT, June 7

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, MIT, June 7

The 2005 MIT grad will return to give a commencement address to graduates, many no doubt who have used his company’s popular cloud storage service. Houston holds an BS in computer science and engineering from MIT. He began working on what would become Dropbox in 2007 with Arash Ferdowsi, then an MIT undergraduate. According to MIT, Houston conceived of Dropbox on a bus trip from Boston to New York when his hopes of finishing some work during the long ride were dashed when he realized he had forgotten his USB drive at home. More here.

Microsoft Kinect incubator Alex Kipman, Rochester Institute of Technology, May 17

Microsoft Kinect incubator Alex Kipman, Rochester Institute of Technology, May 17

Kipman is the Microsoft engineer recently honored as National Inventor of the Year for his work on Kinect for the Xbox 360 video game system and Windows machines. Kipman joined Microsoft in 2001, shortly after graduating from RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences with a degree in software engineering.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, University of Michigan, May 4

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, University of Michigan, May 4

This keynoter will no doubt inspire oodles of tweets from Michigan graduates during the ceremoney. Costolo, a Michigan computer science grad who once worked as a stand-up comedian, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree while there. Costolo joined Twitter as COO in 2009, then became CEO in 2010.

Former Pro Football player Terry Bradshaw, New England Institute of Tech, May 5

Former Pro Football player Terry Bradshaw, New England Institute of Tech, May 5

No, the former Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback isn't known for anything in particular in tech circles, but he has been named as the commencement speaker at this Rhode Island school, known for its technical and business training curriculum. Bradshaw is now seen regularly as a sports commentator and is involved in numerous charitable endeavors, including providing meals to the hungry.