Chances are good that you don’t remember who spoke at your college commencement. Most graduates sit through mind-numbing speeches as they patiently await their new degrees and boatloads of debt, save the few schools each year that manage to pull down a big name (like a past president, popular celebrity or Big Bird).
This year’s graduating seniors at Northwestern University are among the lucky in the class of 2011: Yesterday, comedian, satirist and NU alumnus Stephen Colbert was announced as the speaker for the school’s 153rd commencement. Top that, U of C!
In addition to his laurels of best-selling author, host and producer of a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning show and 2006 grand marshal of NU’s homecoming parade, Colbert will receive another feather in his cap at the June 17th commencement when he picks up an honorary degree from his alma mater (Colbert graduated with the class of ‘86). After graduating from Northwestern, Colbert spent time in Second City’s touring company before getting his break at Comedy Central.
Colbert is no stranger to delivering commencement speeches, having spoken previously at Knox College and Princeton. Though Colbert tried to burn his honorary degree from Knox in mock-protest to Bill Clinton receiving the same honor (the school awarded him a fire-proof one just to be safe) his greatest feather-ruffling speech remains his 2006 “oh SNAP!”-worthy roast of President Bush, the press — actually, everyone who wasn’t Helen Thomas — at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. No word as to whether Colbert plans a searing take down of his old school, though our guess is that he’ll play nice for Wildcat crowd.