The day I graduated from Dartmouth College was one of those hot, humid June days on which you start dripping sweat the moment you step out of the shower. And in those conditions, the cheap, suffocating black polyester robes the graduates must sport can be used as makeshift ovens. So enduring a multi-hour commencement ceremony was in itself no easy feat.
It was made even more difficult by a lousy choice in commencement speaker: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Due to a heat stroke I was surely experiencing, and the fact that hardly a word she uttered was intelligible, I can't recall a word she said in what seemed to be the eternity she stood on stage.
So seeing a list of some of the speakers scheduled to give addresses at commencement ceremonies this year, I can't help but be a bit jealous (But not too jealous because who really needs another speech from Barack Obama?). The following ten graduating classes all have it better than my class did.
- Barnard College – Barack Obama
- Colby College – Tony Blair
- Harvey Mudd College – Bill Nye the Science Guy
- Northeastern University – Colin Powell
- NYU – Sonia Sotomayor
- Princeton – Steve Carrell
- Smith College – Jane Lynch
- Southern Methodist University – Condoleezza Rice
- Stanford University – Newark Mayor Corey Booker
- Syracuse University – Aaron Sorkin