It’s one of those things about college, like a particularly boozy night or where your freshman writing classroom was, that, looking back in 20 or 30 years, you will not remember, but at the time seem particularly important (especially where the classroom is). Snagging a high-profile commencement speaker, these days, is seen as a sign of cachet, a way to set a university apart. There are slideshows of the best college commencement speakers of 2012. Penn State… will not be on that list.
Commencement speakers for next month’s graduations– my graduation– were announced yesterday, and I would be amazed if anyone outside of the Eberly College of Science or the College of Communications gives a damn about, or has even heard of, the person designated to expound for them, in broad cliched strokes of course, about life after Penn State.
For my college’s graduation, I’ll be listening to the founder of a private equity firm, Arthur J. Nagle ’61.
I am not in the Smeal College of Business. I am in the College of Liberal Arts. There is a disconnect here.
I’m sure he’s a nice gentleman, and he’s from my hometown, but private equity doesn’t exactly bring to mind the values of the liberal arts.
Again, this is something I will not remember in 10 or 15 years, but right now, I’m puzzled.
Does anyone else have an issue with their college’s speaker? Do you know who he or she is?
More information about Commencement activities can be found here.