Class Day speaker may not be announced until March

A speaker has been selected for this year’s Class Day, to be held May 25, although the Senior Class Council will likely not release his or her name until March, SCC Class Day Chair Tiffany Pham ’08 said Monday.

“We have selected the speaker at this point,” she said. “The selection process began during the summertime, and the speaker was secured last semester. However, because of security reasons, we will not be able to announce the speaker’s name until a specific time.”

Pham suggested that time may be in March. Associate Dean of Yale College Penelope Laurans, who is helping the SCC coordinate Class Day events, was less specific, saying “I just don’t know” when the speaker’s name would be released.

Although the speaker was announced around this time last year, the proclamation came earlier in 2006. In 2005, the speaker was announced in April.

University administrators, including Laurans, have approved minor changes to previous years’ Class Day programs, including the introduction of a “senior insight” speech that will highlight one student’s time in the Elm City and the airing of a video montage incorporating clips featuring most members of the senior class. In addition, Class Day organizer Elise Pfeiffer ’08 said, the traditional tobacco pipes tucked in graduating seniors’ gift bags will be replaced by healthier bubble pipes — and a small handkerchief, Pham added.

“We wanted to give all the seniors a handkerchief for when they sing ‘Bright College Years,’” Pham explained.

But before the song, seniors will hear the first-ever ‘class insight’ — a speech delivered by a member of the senior class examining the enduring experiences and lessons of their time at Yale. Speakers who will deliver the class insight and class poem — both original student submissions — have yet to be chosen, Laurans said.

Last year’s Class Day featured Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria ’86 — also a member of the Yale Corporation. The year before saw CNN anchor Anderson Cooper ’89 take the stage, and in 2005 Eleanor Holmes Norton GRD ’63 LAW ’64, the District of Columbia’s nonvoting delegate to the U.S. Congress, addressed graduating seniors and their families.

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