Who Shall We Choose as NEXT Year’s Commencement Speaker?

So the class of 2010 has gone forth into the world, and the Michael Oren issue is now moot. But we should immediately begin discussing next year’s commencement. Supposedly the administration considers nominations for commencement speaker from the class. I suggest we take them up on this, and come up with a few speakers we’d like to see.

I’ve put together a list of living people I wouldn’t mind having give the address for my class. I think we should have a little chat about them. Submit your own suggestions!

Germaine Greer
Harold Koh
Barbara Smith
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Robert Coover
Dave Andrews
Uri Gordon
Ed Sanders
Anthony Romero
Gore Vidal
bell hooks
Cornel West
John Barth
Janet Biehl
Duncan Kennedy
Slavoj Žižek
Angela Davis
Nadine Strossen
Pete Seeger
Tariq Ali
Mark Green
George Galloway

Of course, if we think the selection of Michael Oren means that we should be as extremely politically controversial as possible, we could lobby for Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and Noam Chomsky.

But my personal absolute favorites from the list are Germaine Greer and Cornel West. I definitely want someone colorful and fiery. Anyway, we really need to get on this, or else the administration will give us someone insipid like George Stephanopoulos or Wolf Blitzer. Or maybe they’ll stick their finger in our eye again and bring Alan Dershowitz.

Commencement Speaker

The recipients of honorary degrees at this year’s commencement were announced on Friday. (Was Brandeis trying to make sure this didn’t get noticed? WTF?)

Although I was at first disappointed to hear that the keynote speaker  at my commencement would be the current mayor of Newark, NJ, after reading his bio, his wikipedia page, and watching the trailer for the 2005 documentary Street Fight about his campaign to become mayor of Newark, I became excited to hear what he has to say. Booker is a community organizer who, as a politician and outside of politics, has done some really brave shit to prove his commitment to do what is best for the people of Newark. I hope that he will impart to us during his speech, some of the wisdom that he has gained along the way. Also, he knows President Obama personally and is a vegetarian, so he must be a cool guy.

Oh, and we’re also giving an honorary degree to Rajendra K. Pachauri, the guy who received the Nobel Prize along with Al Gore in 2007, and awesome choreographer Bill T. Jones. Good job Brandeis!

Thank god I don’t have to listen to Thomas Friedman or Bill Schneider!