University | 1:15 pm | March 27, 2012 | By Gavan Gideon

Who’s speaking at Yale’s Class Day?

"Cynicism and cop-outs are an excuse to take a dive," Clinton told the graduating seniors of the class of 2010. "They're self-fulfilling prophecies."
"Cynicism and cop-outs are an excuse to take a dive," Clinton told the graduating seniors of the class of 2010. "They're self-fulfilling prophecies." Photo by Grace Patuwo.

In recent years, the Class Day speaker has typically been announced by early March. It’s now late March. So who’s speaking this year?

Kevin Adkisson ’12, co-head of the Senior Class Council, said in a Thursday email that the SCC is talking to potential speakers but has not yet selected one for Class Day on May 20. Maybe this is good news — when Tony Blair spoke in 2008, an official announcement was not made until mid-May for security concerns, though the rumor mill started two months prior.

While we may not know who this year’s Class Day speaker will be, let’s look at which speakers will be sending our friends at other schools off into this robust economy.

John MacArthur, president of Harper’s Magazine and an alumnus of Columbia College, will return to Columbia to deliver a Class Day address. Princeton went for a comedian, choosing actor Steve Carell for Class Day speaker. And the University of Pennsylvania has planned for social activist and founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone Geoffrey Canada to deliver a commencement address.

Harvard tapped our very own Fareed Zakaria ’86 to speak at its commencement. (To be fair, Zakaria earned his Ph.D. in political science in Cambridge.) Harvard also has a speaker at its Class Day, but hasn’t announced who that will be. Out West, Newark Mayor Cory Booker LAW ’97 will deliver a commencement address at Stanford, his alma mater.

And President Barack Obama replaced New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson as Barnard’s speaker. Maybe she’ll come to New Haven, instead.

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