Day 289: See Stephen Colbert give the Northwestern commencement speech
June 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
Today, one of my heroes – Stephen Colbert – addressed myself and the numerous other graduates of Northwestern University’s Class of 2011.
When I graduated from the University of Portland last year, our keynote speaker was the co-founder of CostCo. And don’t get me wrong, he gave a great speech. He talked about the $1 CostCo hotdog deal and the benefits of buying in bulk. But he couldn’t compare with Colbert.
Before him we sat, dressed in our ridiculous regalia, looking like wizards and witches of Middle Earth. As master’s candidates, we were forced to wear robes with drooping, bottomless sleeves – perfect for storing cell phones, keys and sunglasses. At least we didn’t have to don the pouffy hats of the PhD candidates, which looked like turrets from an Arabian castle.
While reading through Colbert’s accolades, the presenter introducing Stephen made the mistake of pronouncing his show, the Colbert Report, with a hard “t”, as in rhyming with retort, thus prompting Stephen to exit the stage in fit of mock outrage. He then proceeded to give what was quite likely the best commencement speech ever. I was so engrossed I hardly noticed the intersections of sweat drops zig-zagging across my torso in the midday heat. The speech can be seen in its entirity here:
I felt that the part about allowing your dreams to change and evolve particularly resonated with me, especially at a time in which I feel like my life goals rotate on a daily basis. Somehow he found the perfect balance of comedic and inspirational.
A special congratulations to Stephanie for her graduation today. For myself it was a bit anticlimactic, seeing as I have to start classes for my final quarter on Monday. But I didn’t mind suiting up early. Colbert was worth it.
Do you remember who spoke at your college graduation?