Ask NYU: Who’s Your Ideal Commencement Speaker?

By NYU Local Staff

This is Ask NYU, a weekly series looking at what students have to say about what’s going on around campus.

In past years, NYU has hosted graduation speakers such as Hillary Clinton, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Bill Clinton, and Alec Baldwin. With the 2015 ceremony less than a month away, this year’s seniors are still (STILL) waiting to hear who will be speaking at their graduation. Until the speaker is announced, we have asked some seniors to imagine who their ideal graduation speaker would be, and why.

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“My ideal speaker would be somebody with a bit of a political message, so somebody like Laverne Cox, or somebody else who speaks to the University’s positive view on the future of human rights.”

— Jack, Gallatin

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“Alexa Chung, because she’s always spotted in New York and I’ve never seen her, so it would be the perfect opportunity to be in a closed space with her.”

— Samantha, CAS

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“Anyone political. Maybe Oprah?”

- Kate, CAS

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“Michelle Obama, because I support her food initiative in schools and she has killer moves.” — Stephano, CAS

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— Keerthi, Steinhardt

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“Beyoncé, because she seems to have a large influence on the student population at NYU.”

— Adam, CAS


“I don’t really care because at the end of the day I have no say in the matter. The speaker theoretically is someone meaningful to the NYU community as a whole but it’s selected by the administration. My experience won’t really be shaped at this point by who I hear speak for 15 minutes.”

— Joe, Gallatin

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“Laverne Cox because… just because.”

- Ben, CAS

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“Nicki Minaj because if she were speaking I would actually go to graduation.”

- Nicole Kim, CAS

Photos via Claire Heaps, Pat King, Lena Warnke, Em Watson