2010 Commencement Speeches: The Good, the Bad, the Hideously Ugly, and Lisa Kudrow


Graduation is upon us, which means… commencement speeches will soon commence (indeed, some already have). The question on the minds of everyone who hasn’t yet graduated: If you have a shitty speaker, does that mean you’ll have a shitty post-graduate life? As someone who can’t remember much about graduation beyond the horrible pastel suit I wore and the invigorating round of Girl Scout cookie shots that followed, I say… maybe.

Here’s our roundup of Who’s Talking Where (the CliffsNotes, in no particular order):

1. Yale gets Bill Clinton. Who cares what he’s gonna say, what we wanna know is: Will he sport a Chelsea-enforced slimmer physique? And what will Chelsea do if he doesn’t?

2. Barnard gets Meryl Streep (okay, we’re jealous). Students express enthusiasm with multiple exclamation points and woots: yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!/YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!/woooott woot.

3. Georgetown, a certain RS blogger’s alma mater, has 9, count ’em, 9 speakers, including Republic of Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, CBS Face the Nation moderator Bob Schieffer, NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Schapiro. What did you say about Girl Scout cookie shots?

4. NYU snags Alec Baldwin. Of course they do. He’ll get an honorary fine-arts degree in return, because Jack Donaghy drives a hard bargain.

5. JPMorgan Chase chair Jamie Dimon will speak at Syracuse University, despite protests from 800 or more students who consider the choice “really insensitive.”

6. Glenn Beck will incite grads at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. “Beck is one of the few courageous voices in the national media standing up for the principles upon which this nation was founded,” said Falwell. Ah, to be a fly on that scary, scary wall.

7. Rachel Maddow will speak at Smith. And Smithies are psyched.

8. Lisa Kudrow, last seen playing Dr. Amy Evans in an episode of Cougar Town, will address Vassar (she graduated class of 1985).

9. Harvard gets former Supreme Court justice David Souter, plus Christiane Amanpour as the featured Class Day speaker. Snobs.

10. George Washington University snags Michele Obama by doing 100,000 hours of community service, while Barack hits West Point, Michigan, and Hampton University, as well as Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan, which beat out 1,000 other public high schools in a national contest of academic self-promotion. Let’s hope he’s funny, ’cause those high schoolers are a tough crowd.