John MacArthur is Your CC Class Day Speaker

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We're pretty sure he'll be in color when he comes to speak

John “Rick” MacArthur, CC ’78, will return to Morningside May 15 for CC Class Day. A longtime journalist and current president of Harper’s Magazine, MacArthur graduated from Columbia with a B.A. in History and has worked at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Star, and The Chicago Sun-Times during his illustrious career. He was also described as a “Maverick Journalist” in a 2003 issue of Columbia College Today, so maybe his speech will be, like, edgy.

Portrait of A Maverick via Wikipedia

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  1. Anonymous

    It's not Obama...

  2. Anonymous

    who the fuck is this?

  3. LOVE  

    the photo caption!

    no clue who this guy is though...

  4. he sounds

    cool and i'm looking forward to listening to him.

  5. ...another year  

    ...another shitty class day speaker.

  6. one day ray  


  7. Anonymous

    You can't do better than John MacArthur, Columbia?

  8. Anonymous

    Obama, Holder, Stephanopolus, Genachowski, Ruth Ginsburg,

  9. Anonymous

    He looks quite dashing in that photo.

    Barnard always gets the best speakers.

  10. oh wow  

    it looks like SEAS has a better speaker this year!

  11. H A H - H A H - H A H

    Columbia never fails to disappoint. I like Harper's, but--really?

    - CC '12

  12. CC 12  

    oh wow, my class day speaker is a guy who heads a magazine that is famous for being "the oldest continuously published MONTHLY magazine in America." so he can enlighten us about working in a redundant profession, at a magazine that has basically only continued existing to give uppity new yorkers something to read while waiting for their doctors appointments.

    columbia, I knew I'd be disappointed, but this is a whole new level of ridiculous. we'll be lucky if CUNY doesn't get a better speaker than this, let alone every single other ivy.

  13. Anon  

    congrats 2012 student council. you completely botched your most important job. thanks a lot.

  14. Wait

    This is a great choice. Harper's is one of the most important 'intellectual' magazines in the country, if not the most. I'm excited!

  15. Anonymous  

    even his wikipedia page is super short and boring. WAY TO GO STUDENT COUNCIL. I knew you sucked all along

  16. Anonymous  


  17. Anonymous  

    this is what i thought when i read this:


  18. Anonymous  

    Everyone needs to grow the fuck up and get over it. The fact that people are actually complaining about this is so elitist.

    • Anonymous

      its not elitist. every graduate can tell you how boring class day is. i know some people who even skipped commencement because they were tired of all the patronising speeches. the least columbia students can expect is someone famous that they can gawk at, not hear more bullshit. but columbia fails yet again...

  19. CC '12  

    Dear Mr. MacArthur,

    In case you ever read this, I want to thank you for agreeing to speak at my class day. You are an impressive individual who has accomplished much. We are honored to have you as our speaker. The comments on this blog do not represent the best Columbia has to offer.

    I look forward to your speech.

  20. Anonymous  

    Why did student council even have us vote?

  21. Anonymous

    If we can't get Waka Flocka at Bacchannal the least we can do is get him to be our class day speaker.

  22. Steve Carrell  

    I can stop by on my way to Princeton if you want

  23. Anonymous

    this is bullshit. that is all.

  24. Anonymous  

    every year I see class day speakers that suck, but I still maintain an optimistic hope that my year will be different.

    I should probably abandon that. Thanks, Columbia.

  25. Real Questions!  

    What's the process of getting speakers? What are the obstacles? Do speakers get paid? How much? Are there valid reasons why CCSC keeps disappointing?

    • alum

      They have to have graduated from Columbia (or have some strong affiliation... like being the parent of a student... i.e. John McCain). That limits the selection.

    • Alum

      Traditionally, CC Class Day speakers are CC graduates or closely related to the College (faculty, relatives of graduates, etc.). I'm a decade or so behind the times, but my understanding is that Class Day speakers are NOT paid, or at most they are compensated for travel expenses. Combined, these two conditions significantly restrict the available speakers.

      But, think of it this way, these are alums of YOUR college who are taking time out of their busy schedules for you. They rightfully view their selection as an honor, and they WANT to speak to YOU because they have a connection to you and can relate to your college experience even if they are separated by several decades.

      Every year students stress out about the selection of the Class Day speaker, and everyone complains. I wish Columbia and CCSC did a better job of explaining why things are as they are. I'm not sure if any of you remember the whole Michael Fox saga from a few years back (some students threatened to boycott Class Day). In the end, I think most students appreciated his address, despite many thinking his post-graduation career as an actor made him unworthy as a Columbia graduation speaker.

      So, here's my own graduation advice to you all: before complaining, it's important to understand why things are as they are. You might find you have less to complain about, or you might complain differently. And, once you have a better understanding of a situation, you can do more than just complain...you can actually take constructive action and make productive recommendations. If you don't like the CC connection requirement, petition the College to do away with it. Or, raise money for a celebrity speaker (and please don't start with the "we pay so much for our education so they should throw in a celebrity speaker" line of arguments--yes, you do pay a lot, but no, the University doesn't have tons of cash just lying around not otherwise spoken for).

  26. CC '12

    This guy sounds cool, but this kid would have made the best speaker ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaIvk1cSyG8

  27. The Anonymous  

    Um. Since when does someone being famous in pop culture make them a good graduation speaker? Why is this guy getting shut down before he's even said a word? At least he's actually one of us.

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