Who we want to speak at commencement

Last weekend’s recognition ceremony for students graduating at the end of the fall semester got us thinking about who we want to speak at commencement in May 2012.

Al Gore
He owes us one. And since he “can’t come” in the spring, he should speak at commencement, this time without Student Union paying close to $100,000. Beyond that, he is still the political face of environmentalism, and has probably done more to teach us about the dangers the planet is facing than just about any other person ever. His message is one that should definitely continue to be spread, and we would love to have him here, if only to inspire us to keep trying to make the world a greener place.

Aaron Sorkin
The creator of shows like “The West Wing” and movies like “The American President” and “The Social Network” is great not just because we love everything he does, but also because he has the capability to speak to our generation in a way that only few can. Sorkin is a committed liberal with a knack for brining the left-wing politics many Wash. U. students believe in to the mainstream. Besides, he dramatized the creation of Facebook, that special social engine on which we each waste more than 12 hours a day. That alone puts him up in our book.

Brian Williams
Brian Williams has the capacity to be serious in his hat as a journalist or funny in his hat as a guest on the Daily Show. His show, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, consistently blows other news programs out of the water in terms of ratings. He is arguably the most well-recognized newscaster in the United States today, and we would love to hear his perspective on journalism in the 21st century.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
This woman is awesome. She’s an inspiration to women, and people everywhere. The first female president of Liberia, she rules by acting like a mom to all her people. They call her Ma, and she has no problem chewing them out. She has been labeled as one of the best presidents in the world, and is considered to be one of the best in Liberia’s history. As a winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, we would be honored to have her speak to us.

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
We don’t particularly care about Amy Poehler, even though she is awesome. A comedian might not be the best choice for commencement speaker. But that comedian’s alter ego? Hell yes. Leslie Knope, from the stellar show Parks and Recreation, would be a great person to give us a little advice going forward. She is smart, dedicated, hard-working, believes in what she is doing and never ever gives up. If anyone could teach rising seniors about the world in the last few minutes of college, Leslie Knope is it. Even if she isn’t technically “real,” we will get the best we can.

Bruce Springstein
BRUUUUCE!!! Even though he is not known for his speaking ability, and hardly ever gives on-air interviews, we don’t really need him to speak all that much. What we want is his music, and its ability to touch the heart and soul of every American. We believe that Bruce’s music speaks to just about every generation, and in tough times like these, the Boss is just the remedy graduating seniors need.

  • apple

    Jack Doresy. Co-Founder of Twitter and Square plus a St. Louis native.

  • dennymack

    Al Gore, with his $100K fee, is indeed the best representation of the environmental movement. Perhaps he could show you how to get a subsidy from the state.

  • Jerome Bauer

    Last year I suggested two very different people, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Jobs passed away but Trumka is still an option. It is very common for students to graduate without ever having heard an articulate pro-labor voice. At a time when organized labor is resurgent, and at a time when Labor History programs are increasingly under attack, and their faculty subject to well funded and well organized smear campaigns, right here in St Louis, hearing from a union leader would be especially relevant. The AFL-CIO is now working with the Occupy movement, no longer just with the Democrats. For that reason alone, we deserve a hearing.

    Come on, let’s do something different this year.

    Lecturer Dr Jerome Bauer
    Not Anonymous

    • Jerome Bauer

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    • red

      Dr. Jerome Bauer for commencement speaker.

  • drsteverino

    Here’s a suggestion: William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Education, former Drug Czar, author, host of Bill Bennett’s Morining in America, and champion of education.

  • red

    Why not Herman Cain? He’s a man who can multitask.

    • red

      I vote Michelle Merlin for commencement speaker.

  • Publius

    This article is more evidence that Studlife is becoming increasingly irrelevant . . .