Ivy Class Day Speaker Smackdown

Ivy Class Day Speaker Smackdown

It’s practically a ritual for seniors to get righteously pissed off about their Class Day speakers. Jim Lehrer? Too stuffy. John McCain? Too conservative. Soledad O’Brien? OK yeah, she’s actually pretty lame

So after seeing how the Ivies stack up in terms of musical guests, we thought a Class Day speaker-measuring contest would be in order. Who scored the hot shots? Who got stuck with duds? Your call:

  • Brown: Craig Mello, Nobel Prize-winning biochemical researcher
  • Columbia: Matthew Fox, actor (Lost, Party of Five
  • Cornell: Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor 
  • Dartmouth: Henry Paulson, Treasury secretary
  • Harvard: Bill Clinton, former U.S. president; Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft 
  • Penn: James Baker, former secretary of state 
  • Princeton: Bradley Whitford, actor (The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)
  • Yale: Fareed Zakaria, editor, Newsweek International

It seems clear Harvard scored the jackpot this time around. You’d think just one of the two most famous Bills in the world would have been enough. (Maybe Harvard wasn’t sure which one was more prestigious, so they invited both just to be safe.) But don’t rule out some dark horse performances. Who knows, maybe Bradley Whitford will deliver one of those rousing paeans to American values and soft backlighting. Maybe Matthew Fox will share anecdotes about his own sexiness back when he attended Columbia. If you get video, let us know.

(Re the Fox uproar: Now is probably a good time to tell you that in March, we read at Bwog that the actor Robert Maschio — aka Scrubs‘s “The Todd” — had offered to give a counter-Fox commencement speech at Columbia, opposite Fox. We emailed him to offer IvyGate as an official sponsor of the greatest speech ever; Maschio was totally into it, until it came time to commit, and then he backed off. Something lame about t-shirts. We were crushed, but regardless, now we can tell our children that we discussed going halfsies on kegs with the greatest actor of his generation, and no one can take that away.)

102 Responses to “Ivy Class Day Speaker Smackdown”

  1. aileench Says:

    I would like to see more prominent people like the ones shown in this blog to be supportive of more international affairs that affect our place in this world. We should not forget the commitment made towards the U.N. Millennium Goals (a pact of ending extreme world hunger by the year 2025) in 2000. According to The Borgen Project, an annual $19 billion dollars is needed to eliminate half of the extreme poverty affecting the world by the year 2015. To my sense, it is almost unacceptable to have spent so far more than $340 billion in Iraq only, when we have more than war immunities to change the world and eliminate poverty.

  2. aileench Says:

    I would like to see more prominent people like the ones shown in this blog to be supportive of more international affairs that affect our place in this world. We should not forget the commitment made towards the U.N. Millennium Goals (a pact of ending extreme world hunger by the year 2025) in 2000. According to The Borgen Project, an annual $19 billion dollars is needed to eliminate half of the extreme poverty affecting the world by the year 2015. To my sense, it is almost unacceptable to have spent so far more than $340 billion in Iraq only, when we have more than war immunities to change the world and eliminate poverty.

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