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  1. #1
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    Commencement Speakers

    I just watched a package on NBC Nightly News showing commencement speakers at universities and colleges around the country this spring, and it got me thinking...why are ISU's commencement speakers always so lame?

    Just looking at the piece on NBC, I saw that Ohio State had Brian Williams, Notre Dame had Martin Sheen, and Harvard had J.K. Rowling. Other places had Barack Obama, Michael Bloomberg, governors, former presidents, and other political figures and celebrities. All of them had inspiring stories, words of wisdom, or at the very least a couple of funny jokes.

    I can't even remember who spoke at my commencement, let alone what they said. My wife's graduate school commencement speaker was the interim dean of the ag college at the time, who talked about some chemical compound or something that she researched, actually naming it by the long number it was assigned or whatever. I still have no idea what it had to do with the people who were graduating.

    Now I'm not saying ISU has to get a celebrity at every commencement, but couldn't they at least get someone who would inspire the graduates with their words? Isn't that kind of the idea of a commencement address?

    Who spoke at your commencement? Do you remember what they said? Do you even remember anything about it at all?


    Last edited by dustinal; 06-09-2008 at 07:30 PM.

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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    I have the perfect solution for a celebrity at next year's commencement:
    Harrison Barnes.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    Come on! We had a former governor in the Fall of 2006. Yes, Robert Ray spoke to us. Granted, he used it to promote Character Counts but don't say we didn't have someone famous!

    That said, I spoke at the Business College graduation that same semester.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    Get the Hooters owner to speak.


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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    Chet Culver was the speaker for the Dec '07 graduation. I think the guy from the alumni association spoke longer than he did. Do we seriously need a sales pitch at graduation?



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    In December 1998 we had Governor Branstad speak. I though it was cool to have an acting governor speak.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sousaclone View Post
    Chet Culver was the speaker for the Dec '07 graduation. I think the guy from the alumni association spoke longer than he did. Do we seriously need a sales pitch at graduation?
    Ugh, I agree. The arm twisting alumni association sales pitch at graduation is pretty pathetic. I don't feel like it has a place at the ceremony at all. I get the picture from all the phone calls and junk mail I get from them, just let the students enjoy the graduation they have worked so hard to achieve instead of twisting arms for cash.... most of us were flat broke at that point in our lives anyway.

    As for speakers.... we had some lame writer with ISU ties that wrote some poetry book nobody ever read. I couldn't have told you her name 5 minutes after she sat down. Certainly not anybody famour or memorable.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    All of those people listed probably charged $10,000 or more for that 10-15 minute speech.

    When my sister graduated, they had the former CEO of Boeing speak. I thought that was a decent choice -- especially being a school of science and technology.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    Not sure who spoke at mine, I did not go :)


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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    I didn't go either.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    This spring I think it was the president at Arizona St. or something like that. Luther had the guy who played Rudy as their speaker, that seems like it would be better then what Iowa St. gets.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    Graduation was only 4 years ago and I have no idea. I couldn't even tell you if it was a guy, girl, golden retriever, or anything. Apparently I spent a good amount of time "celebrating" there towards the end and erased the details of that era from memory.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    I have no idea who spoke at either my High School, or College graduation, but for my Armor Officers Basic Course graduation, we had George S. Patton IV and W.E.B. Griffin speak.

    Now those guys were friggin' awesome, I don't care who you are.


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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue52 View Post
    All of those people listed probably charged $10,000 or more for that 10-15 minute speech.

    When my sister graduated, they had the former CEO of Boeing speak. I thought that was a decent choice -- especially being a school of science and technology.
    I believe he is also an ISU alum. He was involved with some activities in the aerospace department a few years ago while he was on campus to be inducted into the hall of distinguished alums.



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    Re: Commencement Speakers

    Judging from some of the other speakers that people had at their commencements, I guess I've just been unlucky. I've been to four ISU commencements for either myself, my wife, or friends and they've all had lame speakers.

    And I want to emphasize again that commencement speakers don't need to be celebrities (although that does make it pretty cool). I just think they need to be good speakers, and none of the ones I've seen have really been that.



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