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Who's Who At Local Commencement Ceremonies

By JoshMogerman in Miscellaneous on May 9, 2010 7:00PM

It’s commencement season. Every year at this time, there is fierce competition among universities to find prominent figures with the right sort of cache to send their graduates off right. University of Michigan made a splash this year with a speech from President Obama which was less controversial than his Notre Dame appearance last year. What about the local universities?

  • Jane Goodall kicked off the season with a non-graduation keynote lecture at University of Chicago this week, but paleontologist Paul Sereno does the commencement honors.
  • Loyola University Chicago’s commencement will be highlighted by the always-engaging Eboo Patel (interfaith leader and author of the award-winning Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation)
  • Northwestern University might have the coolest speaker in soon-to-be-former-CNN Journalist and host, Christiane Amanpour.
  • Downstate, Illinois College has Trib columnist Clarence Page.

But as the Chicago News Cooperative noted, it is tiny downstate Knox College that sets the bar for cool commencement speakers. Their recent list includes the first ever commencement address by Stephen Colbert, then Senator Barack Obama, Madeleine Albreit, Patrick Fitzgerald. Seems a bit less exciting here in the big city, but at least we don't have to put up with Glenn Beck.