We at Under the Button have gotten some good intel this year, including word that Jon Huntsman would be commencement speaker back in July. We were pretty pleased with ourselves, especially since it wasn’t confirmed until February. Now we’re here to break down the rest of the graduation speakers. (Side note: What’s with the serious lack of estrogen?)
Who: Mitch Albom
Credentials: author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Our Take: This Oprah fave would have been a more relevant pick about a decade ago, but we dig that he’s in a band with Stephen King and Maya Angelou.
COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Who: George Smith
Credentials: 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physics, co-inventor of the charge-coupled device
Our Take: The dude is seriously smart, plus he spent 17 years sailing around the world, but will he be as epic as John Legend?
Who: Phil Nichols
Credentials: Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics
Our Take: Phil’s so cool that he actually makes us wish we lived in Stouffer, where he’s the faculty master.
SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCE
Who: Rajendra Singh
Credentials: Founder of Telcom Ventures, L.L.C.
Our Take: He has great material to draw from: raised without a telephone, his work in telecommunications made him a billionaire. That shit is poetic.
SCHOOL OF NURSING
Who: Greg Mortenson
Credentials: Co-founder and executive director of Central Asia Institute, co-author of Three Cups of Tea
Our Take: We would love to hear this humanitarian talk about how he’s working to make the world a better place. We also like tea.
Check out grad school speaker highlights (and lowlights) after the jump.
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL POLICY & PRACTICE
Who: Joe Biden
Credentials: Vice President of the United States
Our Take: Biden is legit. And he might drop the F-bomb.
SCHOOL OF LIBERAL & PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
Who: David Grazian
Credentials: Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair of Sociology
Our Take: We never thought we could hate pop culture, but then we took Grazian’s SOCI137. So there’s that.
SCHOOL OF DESIGN
Who: Barry Bergdoll
Credentials: Curator of Architecture and Design for The Museum of Modern Art
Our Take: This dude is in charge of our favorite part of one of our favorite museums. Well done, PennDesign.
SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE
Who: Ed Rendell
Credentials: Governor of Pennsylvania
Our Take: Is anyone else confused what the governor has to do with teeth? But maybe he knows something about the crazy whirring noise that comes from the Dental School.