Where did my graduate get all this stuff?

New York’s Times Herald-Record reflects on the rituals of graduation: bringing home a college graduate — and all their stuff — commencement speeches that drone on, and parental pride.


I’m still trying to figure out how to convince commencement speakers to keep their remarks down to a select few words. A very select few. I’m fine with institutions of higher learning trying to showcase themselves by snagging a celebrity to speak at commencement. Hand them an honorary degree. It’s no sheepskin off my back.

My problem is when these folks feel obligated to give a speech that lasts longer than your kid has attended the school.

Here’s a reality check. No one attends a graduation ceremony because they’re interested in hearing the keynote speaker.

“What do you say, Hon? It’s miserable outside. You want to catch a matinee or listen to the chairman of the New York state Assembly Energy Committee speak for 30 minutes on the road less chosen?”

What, the tuition bill isn’t punishment enough?

And no student decides what college they’ll attend based on the celebrity commencement speaker.

“Gee, Dad, Cornell is a great Ivy League school, but Stephen Colbert spoke last year at Knox College. Maybe I’ll go there. Where is it?”

Read the editor’s column in the Times Herald-Record.