Bet They All Have Joel Klein Envy

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Grumbly reactions to Class Day speakers are traditional at Columbia (John McCain, too conservative! Matthew Fox, too pedestrian!). Joel Klein has received only a smattering of disapproval in the comments, on account of his low name recognition. To stoke your envy (or pride–at least we didn’t end up with Bianca Jagger), Bwog has collected a list of class speakers at other schools–including some schools we’ve never heard of. Kudos to Harvard on an amazing combination–prestige and entertainment. Full list after the jump.

Edit, 6:15 pm: More class day speakers at the end of the jump.

Barnard: David Remnick, Michael Bloomberg, Billie Jean King, Thelma Davidson

College of Saint Rose: Gov. David Paterson

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Oliver Sacks

Cornell: Maya Angelou

Furman: George W. Bush

Gettysburg: Sandra Day O’Connor

Harvard: J.K. Rowling, Ben Bernanke

Indiana University: Will Shortz

Kenyon: Anna Quindlen

MIT: Muhammad Yunus

Northwestern Law School: Jerry Springer

Oberlin: Fareed Zakaria

Princeton: Stephen Colbert, Paul Farmer 

Simmons College: Bianca Jagger

Stanford: Oprah Winfrey

Syracuse: Bob Woodruff

UCLA: Bill Clinton 

University of Georgia: Clarence Thomas 

UPenn: Michael Bloomberg

Williams: Richard Serra, LeVar Burton

Yale: Tony Blair – only a rumor at this point. The speaker has not been announced due to so-called security concerns

Still More!

Apparently, in the mind of some middle aged commencement planners, all hosts of button-pushing TV shows are the same. Lucky are the students who have sat for speeches by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Seth MacFarlane, but woe to those who ended up with Meredith Vieira and Lisa Ling. And ear plugs to those who must listen to Chris Matthews.

Bethany: Bud Selig

Bryant: George H. W. Bush

Carnegie Mellon: Al Gore

Central Connecticut State: Gov. M. Jodi Rell

Dickinson: Kwame Anthony Appiah

Hofstra: Gov. David A. Paterson

North Carolina Ag & Tech: Bill Cosby 

Pitzer: Samantha Power

Quinnipiac: Lisa Ling

SUNY Binghampton: Ted Kooser

Tufts: Meredith Vieira

Vanderbilt: Bob Geldof 

Wash U: Chris Matthews

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  1. Bwog,  

    Great piece. Well done.

    Columbia-Admin, shame on you. At least pay for their fucking travel/lodging for fuck's sake.

  2. northwestern law  

    classy as fuck

    • Actually  

      There was a recent piece on This American Life about how Jerry Springer was the most popular politician in Cincinnati in history. He served as mayor for years and even had a bid for governor...

      Just a thought.

  3. MIT  

    fucking kicks ass-- it's like the ubermensch academy. muhammad yunus, i'm so jealous

  4. 08er  

    At least people know who Bianca Jagger is...I still have no idea of what Joel Klein has accomplished and why he deserves to be our class speaker.

  5. actually

    I don't know who Bianca Jagger. I guess I can Google her.

  6. djk  

    think College of Saint Rose has Spitzer?

  7. art history major  

    im so jealous of williams.

  8. tony blair  

    will be teaching at yale, so that wouldnt be too surprising

  9. What will be  

    the music at Class Day?

    Eine Klein Nacht music!

  10. EAL  

    Damn you, Princeton. They clearly have the best speaking combo. The Class of 2009 better not fuck this up.

  11. ...  

    poor Furman... they'll have to sit through an hour of 'ums'

  12. discuss  

    Columbia should lift its silly restrictions on Class Day speakers and shell out some cash to attract good ones.

  13. curious  

    if you graduate in december, do you get a class day? (took a semester off at one point, so i graduate a little off schedule)

  14. well  

    this is the only time in my life I've ever wished I went to Princeton.

  15. why not  


  16. still

    none top JK Rowling.

  17. C'mon  

    What's the impediment to creating a drive in the Campaign for Columbia (or whatever it's called) for endowing a fund for Class Day or Commencement speakers?

    I mean, what's the cost-benefit analysis? Cool speakers lead to some prestige (People still talk about Stephen Colbert at Knox, and Seth MacFarlane at Harvard-- I mean, dumb people, but still people). I'm sure some alum would be honored to have the "John Waspington-Mayflower/Tobias Jewenstein Commencement Series" on commencement programs for decades to come.

  18. well

    for universities with multiple schools, how many of these speakers are speaking at the equivalent of class day, and how many at the equivalent of commencement? I would imagine a lot are speaking at the university wide commencement, which means they should be compared to bollinger not klein.

  19. Nice  

    Will Shortz = Money

  20. NYer  

    it's SUNY Binghamton, not Binghampton.

  21. sacksophilia  

    "So... um, let me... uh. Er. Well, I remember when I graduated from college 60 years ago. Uhh... Then... Yes -- I mean -- you see, my two favorite things then were smoked salmon and Bach..."

    -- Excerpt from a video tape leaked Thursday of Oliver Sacks practicing his commencement speech for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

  22. Oh and btw

    Bianca Jagger would be fucking awesome as along as she sticks to shit people actually want to hear like riding a white pony into studio 54 for her B-day in 1977 or doing blow with Steve Rubell and Andy Warhol. Really she could probably hold the attention of an audience for several hours regaling them with the exploits of Mick and Keef.

  23. so...  

    Hofstra gets Paterson? who went here...

    Damn, the Columbia administration is moronic.

  24. af-am studies major  

    i'm so jealous of dickinson

  25. eww  

    oprah's boobs in that picture GROSS

  26. barnard  

    Wow... If it weren't for Thelma Davison, the all-female Barnard class would be hearing all-male speakers.

  27. facts

    And, only one of those people are speaking. The others are just being presented with awards. Also, chances are Anna Quindlen will speak at BC as well. She is the head of the board of trustees. She might speak every year.

  28. really?  

    i'm so pissed joel klein is our speaker. he's not even amusing. not one bit.

  29. really....

    This school is certainly fickle when it comes to such things. Well, at least we don't have Jerry Springer or Clarence Thomas coming!

  30. campaign for 09... have a speaker that we are excited about.

    how to you get to be on the committee that picks the speaker? if you want something done right, do it yourself!

    • haha

      i love how everyone thinks that people purposefully chose bad speakers or something. Usually the council ask a bunch of people they want to come, and most say no, so they pick the best of those that said yes. It's not like they don't TRY to get good people.

  31. noo  

    i would say they don't try nearly hard enough. Columbia administration's disastrous leadership fails again.

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