5 Commencement Speeches We Won’t Have


I’m sure many of you, especially all you seniors, have heard the news that our very own university president, Thayne McCulloh, has been selected as the 2013 Commencement speaker and there are a lot of mixed emotions going around because of it.

In case you need a refresher, Susie Prusch sent out in an email the following:

“Thayne McCulloh, Gonzaga’s President, will give the Commencement Address. This has been a very important year for Gonzaga University – this marks the end of our 125th Anniversary celebration and Dr. McCulloh will look back at some of the highlights as well as look ahead to Gonzaga’s future.”

I agree. This has been a very expensive important year for Gonzaga and it will be good to have someone close to the Gonzaga community like John Stockton Dr. McCulloh to speak about the seniors’ Gonzaga’s past and future.

However, it still would have been awesome if other speakers were selected like Tupac Hologram, Steve Jobs Hologram, or especially Bing Crosby Hologram –– [pause a moment to imagine Bing Crosby Hologram.]

Ok, so there are some good ones out there that would be awesome, indeed. Here are some commencement speeches we will never have.

Ira Glass

“And right there is the problem. We don’t know. We lurch forward in our lives: We try this; we try that; we make the best guesses that we can, based on what we believe at the time, and it is entirely possible that a Goucher grad-that you, or you, or you-will get the chance to change the world and kill Adolf Hitler, and you will miss it. And that is entirely possible.”

James Franco

“The thing about is college is it takes minds into space like a rocket.”

Franco: “It’s a very scary time to graduate, but thank goodness that, you know, all us college graduates are guaranteed steady and lucrative jobs because of our college degrees.”

Cameraman: “I don’t think that’s right.”

Franco: “Well, actually it is true because I went to college and I know.”

David Sedaris

“It’s been interesting to walk around campus this afternoon, as when I went to Princeton things were completely different. This chapel, for instance—I remember when it was just a clearing, cordoned off with sharp sticks. Prayer was compulsory back then, and you couldn’t just fake it by moving your lips; you had to know the words, and really mean them. I’m dating myself, but this was before Jesus Christ.”

Jane Goodall

“When I dreamed of going to Africa when I was a child of eleven years old, everybody laughed at me. How could I go there? We didn’t have any money, World War Two was raging, and I was a girl and girls didn’t do that sort of thing back then. Dream about something you can achieve, they said. Not my mother. She said, if you really want something, and you work hard, and you never give up, you will find a way and I did.”

Lastly, here’s a commencement thing that is never too late. 10 ½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said is a humorous, down-to-earth book that I’ve recently read and I’m glad I read it before graduation and not after. “Some of your worst days lie ahead”…“Don’t make the world worse”…“Your parent’s don’t want what is best for you”…and “Take time off” are among many great chapters in this book. If you really want a commencement speech that will give you good wisdom, then read this book. [Now excuse me while I go cash a commission check for promoting this book.]

By Jake Sheets

[image via]


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