Star speakers at graduation

Or rather “commencement”

A long but interesting article by John Sutherland

And of course they pay large sums to avoid the following…

When Rice University, in 2005, decided for the first time to have a serving woman professor on their own staff give the commencement address, the students went ballistic. They wanted Lance Armstrong, Robin Williams, or Bill Gates. Bill Cosby had given the address two years running, in 2001-02. That had gone down very well.

The institution’s argument that “With a typical commencement speaker’s fee of between $25,000 and $35,000, you could hire an assistant professor for a year” cut no ice whatsoever with graduating seniors. “If I had wanted to hear her speak,” snarled one, “I could have gone to her class.” This year, Rice has John Doerr – described as “the single best venture capitalist in the world.” That’s more like it.

One consequence would be though that we would have to have just one big ceremony?

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