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“Today's Speech is Going to Be a Little Different”

The Class Day speaker chosen by the class of 2003, comedian Will Ferrell, poked fun at multiple parties, including:

  • his listeners: “You’re about to enter into a world filled with hypocrisy and doublespeak, a world in which your limo to the airport is often a half-hour late.”
  • then U.S. president George W. Bush, M.B.A. ’75 (whom Ferrell was known for impersonating on Saturday Night Live), saying Bush had sent students this message: “I just want to take time to congratulate you on your outstanding achievement as graduates of the Class of 2002. The great thing about being the Class of 2002 is that you can always remember what year you graduated because 2002 is a palindrome which, of course, is a word or number that is the same read backwards or forwards….”
  • and that year’s Commencement speaker, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo: “Ernie’s a good man, a deeply religious man, and one of the original members of the Latino boy band Menudo.”

Ferrell concluded by singing a version of Dust in the Wind (which he sang in a memorable scene from the 2003 movie Old School) with lyrics specially adapted for the occasion.

Ferrell’s address made a CNBC list of the 10 best graduation speeches of all time. Watch the speech on YouTube.