UPDATE: Commencement Speaker Extravaganza: Baseball Players, Hollywood Directors, and More!

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Well, we know one person who is not going to be a graduation speaker this year. (That would be Hopkins’s Dr. Ben Carson, who opted not to give the speech at the graduation for the Johns Hopkins Medical School after students protested his homophobic remarks.) Here’s who’s speaking at local schools this year:

  • The University of Maryland snagged Cal Ripken, Jr., icon of Maryland baseball/work attendance. Prediction:  He will talk about perseverance.
  • Johns Hopkins University picked one of its own, Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a neuroscientist who’s also known for telegenic appearances on the ABC News documentary series Hopkins. Dr. Q, as he is affectionately known, came to the U.S. from Mexico at age 19 and worked as a migrant cotton-picker as he learned English. Prediction:  discussion of Maryland’s version of the Dream Act, which passed last year.
  • Goucher College is hosting author Judith Viorst, who wrote Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which was perhaps my favorite book when I was six years old. Prediction:  She will use the phrase “terrible horrible no good very bad” at least twice.
  • Morgan State University got Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who is a strong supporter of historically black colleges. Prediction:  Affectionate anecdotes about President Obama.
  • Stevenson University welcomes Baltimore-born, Friends School educated, Hollywood-proud actor/director Jason Winer, who workes on Emmy-winning ABC series Modern Family and also directed that mediocre Russell Brand movie Arthur. (How’d they get him? Well, the fact that Winer’s cousin goes to Stevenson couldn’t hurt.) Prediction:  sitcom-worthy jokes.

UPDATE: A few more we forgot to include in our original post!

  • University of Maryland, Baltimore got Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who has been coming to town quite a bit recently. Prediction:  The word “drone” will not be used.
  • Everyone’s favorite purveyor of pudding pops, dad sweaters, and controversial statements about race — yep, Bill Cosby — will be speaking at the University of Baltimore.
  • Uh, how could we forget this one? Some lady named Michelle Obama will be speaking at Bowie State. Perhaps you’ve heard of her? Prediction:  dance moves!


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