If I can speak for most undergrads, we dread graduation day more than the apocalypse itself. It means leaving college and entering the real world, where it won’t be acceptable to beer bong in broad daylight on the roof of a frat house or blow off all your responsibilities to watch an entire season of the Office in bed.
Although the whole “graduating” thing sucks in theory, there’s always a lot of excitement surrounding the commencement speaker (or controversy, if you remember the whole Obama at Notre Dame debacle…). A good speaker can trick you into thinking this isn’t the worst day of your life inspire you to look ahead to the future and all the possibilities that lay ahead (if they’re a huge success, why can’t you be!?). And a bad speaker will allow you a good 45-minute power nap.
So who will be inspired come graduation day and who will be snoozing in their caps and gowns? Here is a list of some serious commencement speaker heavy hitters and the lucky seniors who get to listen to ’em:
1. University of Michigan – BARACK OBAMA!
Imagine how proud you’d be of your college experience when the freakin’ PRESIDENT of the United States comes to speak at your graduation ceremony!? Everyone knows the man’s got charisma and can work a crowd, and the class of 2010 will definitely remember this for the rest of their lives!
2. NYU – Alec Baldwin
Three words: hot. older. man. Everyone and their mother (literally) will be drooling over him, and if they can pay attention to what he has to say at the same time, I’m sure it will be both hilarious (hello, did you not see him on the Oscars last night) and inspirational. This funny guy is the perfect choice for a commencement speaker. I knew I shoulda gone to NYU…
3. Vassar College – Lisa Kudrow
Could you get a cooler commencement speaker than Phoebe from Friends? I think not. The Emmy winner actually graduated from Vassar in 1985 with a Biology degree and will return to deliver the 2010 commencement address. I’m sure she’ll be delivering inspirational advice in between cracking jokes, and will have the audience doubled over in laughter. I just hope she whips out a guitar and performs a little “Smelly Cat.”
4. Tulane University – Anderson Cooper
Is it me, or does Tulane have all the luck? First Ellen, now Anderson Cooper!? Cooper is one of the most intelligent and fascinating (not to mention strikingly handsome – hellooo, silver fox) people on the news. He actually makes me want to watch it. And his presence at Tulane will certainly hit close to home for a lot of students due to his emotional coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. I don’t know about you, but this is definitely the man I’d want sending me out into the real world.
5. Harvard – David Souter
For those law geeks out there like me, this is pretty damn cool. Souter served 9 years as a Supreme Court Justice, meaning he had a hand in creating and interpreting laws and precedents that will hold for years to come. I imagine those Harvard students will be both educated and fascinated by what this powerful man has to say.
6. Worcester Polytechnic Institute – Curt Schilling
As the only man to ever pitch World Series games across three decades (his 20’s, 30’s and 40’s) I’d say he’s pretty impressive. He lead the Phillies to the World Series in ’03 and won the World Series with the Diamondbacks in 2001 and the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. But beyond those insane accomplishments, Schilling is just a great role model, using his fame to help multiple charities, as well as his own cause, Curt’s Pitch for ALS. Even though I admittedly hate the Phillies and the Red Sox, Schilling is someone I’d love to listen to come graduation day.
What about you, seniors? Is anyone great coming to speak at your ceremony?