It's college graduation time. The commencement speakers have been chosen.
Bob Schieffer will be at R.I.T; Muriel(Mickey) Siebert (the first woman of finance), will speak at Wagner College.
CNN's, Anderson Cooper has been selected to speak at Tulane University, and Suze Orman will speak to undergraduate students at Bentley College. Brian Williams will be at Notre Dame, and Case Western Reserve chose Katie Couric. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the commencement seaker at NYU. (The graduation takes place at Yankee Stadium.)
Shown below are some fascinating stories about commencement speakers:
After months of secret negotiatoins, several hundred secret ballots, and a weekend retreat with Vice President Dick Cheney in his secret mountain bunker, a Class Day speaker was chosen, and it was me. You obviously have madea grave error. But it's too late now. Solet's just go with it.
As most of you are probably aware, I didn't graduate from Harvard, In fact, I never even got a call back from Admissions. Damn you, Harvard! Damn you! I told myself I would not get emotional today. But damn it, I'm here, and sometimes it's just good to cry.
I'm not one of you. Okay? I can't relate to who you are and what you've been through. I graduated from the University of Life. All right? I received a degree from the School of Hard Knocks. And our colors were black and blue, baby. I had office hours with the Dean of Bloody Noses. All right? I borrowed my class notes from Professor Knuckle Sandwich and his Teaching Assistant, Ms. Fat Lip Thon Nyun. That's the kind of school I went to for real, okay?
So my gift to you, Class of 2003, is to tell you about the real world through my eyes, through my experiences. And I'm sorry but I refuse to sugarcoat it. I ain't gonna do it. And I probably shouldn't use the word "ain't" during this day in which we celebrate education. But that's just the way I play it, Homes....
I'm sorry, graduates. But this is a world where you aren't allowed to use your cell phone in airplanes, during live theater, at the movies, at funerals, or even during your own elective surgery. Apparently, the Berlin Wall went back up because we now live in Russia. I mean just try lighting up a cigar in a movie theater or paying for a dinner for 20 friends with an autograph. It ain't that easy....
You're about to enter into a world filled with hypocrisy and doublespeak, a world in which your limo to the airport is often a half-hour late. In addition to not even being a limo at all; often times it's a Lincoln Towncar. You're about to enter a world where you ask your new assistant, Jamie, to bring you a tall, non-fat latte. And he comes back with a short soy cappuccino. Guess what, Jamie? You're fired. Not too hard to get right, my friend....
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Russell Baker,
gave a short and sweet commencement speech at Connecticut College in 1995. The speech was titled, "10 Ways to Avoid Mucking Up the World any Worse than it
What was his advice?
One: Bend down once in a while and smell a flower.
go around in clothes that talk.
There is already too much talk in the
world...Talking clothes just add to the
uproar. If you simply cannot resist
being an incompetent klutz, don't
boast about it by wearing a tee shirt
that says 'underachiever and proud
of it.' Being dumb is not the worst
thing in the world, but letting your
clothes shout it out loud depresses
the neighbors and embarrasses your
Three: Listen once in a while. It's
what you can hear...you might hear
the footsteps of something sinister
gaining on you, or a heart-stopping
beautiful phrase from Mozart you
haven't heard since childhood, or
the voice of somebody - now gone -
whom you loved....
in the nude...it's silly getting
dressed up to go to bed...now that
you can longer smoke, drink gin or
eat bacon and eggs without some-
body trying to make you feel
ashamed of yourself, sleeping in the
nude is one delicious sinful pleasure
you can commit without being caught
by the Puritan police squads that
patrol the nation.
off the TV once or twice and
month and pick up a book.
Six: Don't take your gun to town. Don't
even leave it home unless you lock
all your bullets in a safe deposit box
in a faraway bank.
to fear the automobile.
It is not the trillion-dollar deficit
that will finally destroy America. It
is the automobile...future highway
needs are terrifying. ...when your
generation is middle-aged,
Interstate 95 between Miami and
Fort Lauderdale will have to be 22
lanes wide to avert total paralysis
of south Florida. Imagine an entire
country covered with asphalt. My
grandfather's generation shot
horses. Yours had better learn to
Note: Harry W. Gluckman agrees: "Road
construction [in Florida] is permanent and
continuous. Detour barrels are moved
around for your entertainment pleasure
during the middle of the night to make the
next day's driving a bit more exciting."
Eight; Have some children. Children
texture to your life. They will save
you from turning into old fogies
before you're middle-aged.
married...getting married will
give you a lot more satisfaction in
the long run than your BMW...
What's more, without marriage you
will have practically no material at
all to work with when you decide to
write a book or hire a psychiatrist.
Ten: Smile. You're
one of the luckiest
people in the world. You're living in
America. Enjoy it...although I've lived
through the Great Depression,
World War II, terrible wars in Korea
and Vietnam, and half a century of
cold war, I have never seen a time
when there wre so many Americans
so angry or so mean-spirited or so
sour about the country as there are
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe graduated from
NYU when tuition was $25 a credit. She
wishes a "Mazel-tov" to all of today's
More Majorie Wolfe
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