Once again we hear of controversies surrounding the invitations to some people who have been invited, not invited, disinvited, uninvited, etc. to give commencement addresses.
I have a solution. Invite me.
I have openly and unashamedly in the past campaigned to be invited somewhere --- anywhere --- to give a commencement address. Here is a posting (revised, updated, edited) from 2007.
This is a revised repost of an open solicitation I made several years ago:
I would like to give the commencement address at your school.
Here are some reasons you should invite me:
1. I have a cap and gown that have been described as cool or sexy
2. I look very professional and academic with my gray beard and glasses.
3. I have considerable experience listening to bad commencement addresses, so I know what not to do or say. (e.g. don't try to get the crowd. to sing a kid's song with you, as one speaker did).
4. I am an award-winning professor, with considerable acting and speaking experience.
5. I promise not to cuss (unless you want me to).
6. I will charge no fees (until the demand increases considerably).
7. I will pay (some of) my own transportation expenses, within reason.
8. You have your choice of opening lines (and topics):
- "Never apply latex paint over glossy alkyd enamel."
- "There are no refunds for losing lottery tickets."
- "If you're going to save the world, do it yourself — don't ask the gubmnt to do it."
- "You're never too young to have a happy childhood."
- "Old people are grumpy because they hurt."
- "Cronyism ain't capitalism."
or any other topic from my blog.