Though Tina Fey would make for an “entertaining” commencement speaker, no doubt, I don’t believe she would have something inspiring to share with the graduating class, nor do I believe that she has contributed anything truly meaningful to society or impacted our lives in any significant way.
Yes, Fey has become very successful, and is an amazing comedian, but I believe at this point in the University’s history, the focus has shifted toward technology and entrepreneurship. Just look at President Mary Sue Coleman’s address to the campus this past Tuesday where she announced that the University will be investing $25 million in its own start-ups. I believe that Michigan needs to highlight this, and in a big way by bringing one of the premiere entrepreneurs to campus. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg not only exemplifies this aspect of the University, but he has created a tool we all use every single day and has fundamentally changed the way we communicate.
The other argument being made is that we have not had a woman be the commencement speaker at the University for a couple of years. While that is true (though, is five years really that much?), is it really a worthy argument? In today’s world, where women are becoming more and more successful, some even say more so than men, do we really need to discriminate anymore? Gender shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to choosing a commencement speaker.
Jake Steinerman is an LSA senior.