Bloomberg doesn’t want to go to your stupid graduation

Michael R BloombergIt seems Columbia engineers have a new graduation tradition: getting rejected by former mayor Michael Bloomberg. A letter from the school’s dean, obtained by (IG contributor Skelding at) Capital extended an invitation to the former mayor to speak at graduation, which he declined. The letter details that he was asked last year, too, but couldn’t make it due to a scheduling conflict.

The day of last year’s graduation, he “hosted a Jewish heritage reception at Gracie Mansion and subsequently accepted a lifetime achievement award at the New York League of Conservation Voters’ Spring Gala,” per Capital, which is the same excuse we give when we don’t want to sit through a long ass boring ceremony wearing a polyester robe outside on a humid May afternoon.

So Bloomberg didn’t make it up to Morningside Heights, but at least he didn’t offer to speak at Barnard graduation.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

Graduation Speech Round-Up: Dartmouth Comes Out On Top

It has certainly been a year to remember for Ivy League graduation speeches. While Amy Poehler gave a Harvard student the finger, Tom Hanks decided to visit the campus of Yale so he could get into character for his new movie. Rudy Giuliani provided Cornellians with a fun-filled drinking game (Drink every time Rudy mentions “politics,” “terrorism,” or “9/11”), and Columbia’s guest speaker asked every student at Barnard to friend her on Facebook. Princeton snagged Brooke Shields (HOT) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg (NOT AS HOT). At UPenn, Denzel depressed students by encouraging them to fail. And lastly, Brown University decided to be really hipster by choosing a guest speaker that none of us have ever heard of.

Yet it is quite clear that none of these guest speakers could measure up to Dartmouth College’s Conan “Coco” O’Brien, who definitely delivered the goods. Conan, whose last graduation speech came in 2000 at his alma mater, Harvard, knocked this one out of the park by cracking an abundance of hilarious jokes at the expense of Dartmouth and the rest of the Ivy League. Here’s my favorite line of the speech:

No, Dartmouth, you must stand tall, raise your heads high and feel proud. Because if Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are your self-involved, vain, name-dropping older brothers, you are the cool, sexually confident, lacrosse-playing younger sibling who knows how to throw a party and looks good in a down vest.

Brown, of course, is your lesbian sister who never leaves her room … And Penn, Columbia, and Cornell, well frankly, who gives a shit?

Congrats to Dartmouth and Conan for winning IvyGate’s first annual “Kick-Ass Graduation Speech Award,” and enjoy the entire speech in its YouTube glory below:


Harvard Students, Meet World

Graduation is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing: a massive upsurge in Ivy League freakouts, mostly due to the stunning realization that Ivy League students have zero common sense and no life skills beyond constructing bongs out of toilet paper rolls and laundry filters. Thank God we have someone like Crimson columnist Brian J. Bolduc to deliver us from our own abundance of thumbs and left feet.

Bolduc, a member of Harvard’s Class of 2010, temporarily emerged from his über-gritty, über-real life in New York yesterday to write an article called “The Harvardian’s Guide to the Real World.” We love it when Harvard students pretend to understand the real world, and we especially love it when they try to give each other advice about how to live in it. So naturally we thought Bolduc’s article was worth a quick reality fact-check. Shall we?

First—unlike in class—at work, requirements are mandatory.

WHAT? You must be joking. When will there be time for the rowing machine and the twice-a-day trips to Whole Foods?

Second, work has unavoidable unpleasantries—namely, your coworkers. At one point, you may find yourself sitting across from a guy who went to Yale.

(2a) Do  not use the word “unpleasantries” at the water cooler unless you are working for Roget’s Thesaurus or BlackRock. Otherwise people will think you’re a tool. (2b) Do not gape and point when you see your Yale coworkers, because chances are you’ve been recruited by the same financey folks that hire Ivy League students every year in bushels. (Otherwise, how could you possibly be living in New York, like our fine friend Mr. Bolduc? Keep in mind that none of Bolduc’s proferred recommendations apply if you’re shacking with your parents.)

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A Cheat Sheet of Ivy League Celebrities

CBS News has figured out why the whole world is going to pieces: people don’t have enough Ivy League role models, duh. They’ve posted a slideshow on their website of 33 celebrities who clearly think about their Ivy Education at every moment of their waking lives, or at least every moment that they aren’t waxing their upper lips and their Oscar statuettes.

IvyGate agrees that we all need some people to look up to–but as any Ivy League grad will probably tell you, there are “people,” and then there are “qualified people.” So for your benefit, we’ve decided to rate each of CBS’s featured celebs on his or her role-modelability, on a scale of 1 (might as well be Demi Lovato) to 5 (awesomer than three cans of Four Loko at the Harry Potter premiere).

1. Natalie Portman, Harvard ’03. Hangs out with Danny Aronofsky and manages to look a lot taller than she actually is. Also, way more Israeli than Bostonian. And she can rap. 4 out of 5.

2. Emma Watson, Brown ’13. Cute and sparkly, but has been known to burst into tears at the slightest incitement. Likes being a celebrity who hates being a celebrity. May at one point have been topless. Eh, not a lot of life skills there. 2 out of 5.

3. John Krasinsky, Brown ’01. Was an English major, thus showing all English majors that there’s hope for a future career that isn’t (a) librarian, (b) teacher at inner-city high school, (c) sulky Germanic Literature grad student, or (d) smug useless schmo. With a little luck, you can play a smug useless schmo on television. 3 out of 5.

4. John Legend, UPenn ’99. Graduated from high school when he was 16, cut an album with Kanye West, won a whole bunch of awards, and still gave enough of a damn about Penn to make a killer commencement speech in 2009. The man has soul, kids. 5 out of 5.

5. David Duchovny, Princeton ’82, Yale dropout. Former alien intelligence crusader, now just cruises for blond chicks with tits. 1 out of 5 or 5 out of 5, depending on your opinion of blond chicks with tits.

Lots more ratings after the jump!

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We Leave You This Memorial Day Wisdom With the Sad Wisdom That Some Schools Get Lisa Kudrow to Speak at Graduation

Check out Jezebel’s mash-up of college graduation speeches, which makes a single unitary piece of rhetoric out of Michelle Obama, Glenn Beck (who sobs while talking about the Bible), and The Comeback legend Lisa Kudrow. It’s a nice reminder that literally nothing a speaker can say, from grasps at contemporary resonance to “wisdom” and advice will surprise his or her audience, ever!

Adventures in Downward Mobility: Poor Rich Kids Is the Tragicomedy on the Other Side of Graduation

rich_poorThe markets are dropping, the sky is falling, Bobby Jindal is about to take over America. The King of Antigua just raided your trust fund and Lehman is still the best job on Wall Street and it already went under. Welcome to the Brave New World of Ivy League Poverty, in which the value of silver-spoons is falling fast.  Anon, the dawn of a disgusting, moldy-mustard-hued morn in which we are no longer able to sell our diplomas to the highest Wall Street bidder, or fetch lattes for some Fortune-500 sack of cash who pays you with the gold coins he sweats at night. We’re liberal and OMGbama enough to know things could be a lot worse, but somewhere along the way, “but for the grace of God goes I” turned into “at least I’m not that pathetic guy” and “At least I’ll always have Harvard. I could’ve been somebody, once!” — and therein lies the genius of new blog Poor Rich Kids (helmed by an enterprising pair of lazy-ass HYP grads) which offers marching orders to the overeducated and underemployed:

Even if you’ve been cut off, so to speak (and every poor rich kid will insist that he/she is entirely financially independent), your parents want to know that if someone holds you at gunpoint and the $6.32 in your wallet just isn’t enough, the thief / poor-poor-person will be able to take their credit card. This way the poor-poor-person will feel satisfied and won’t kill you. So your parents give you their credit/ATM card, just in case. There is, however, another acceptable use for your parents’ credit card: buying items from the pharmacy. Use their credit card to buy a carton of cigarettes.

But then I read entries about how the jobs of choice for the poor-rich are “blogger,” “freelance writer,” and “thinking about grad school,” and, like, close to home.