As Harvard’s Class of 2013 anxiously awaits Oprah’s arrival Thursday, May 30, they will be taking a seat in the Yard Wednesday at 2 p.m. to hear from Soledad O’Brien in honor of Class Day. Since 1968, Harvard’s Senior Class Committee has been inviting speakers to grace the Tercentenary Theater Stage the day before Harvard’s commencement ceremony and, this year, the former CNN anchor was asked to attend. For those unable to make it themselves, however, including the Harvard seniors still…er…sleeping in the Widener Library, Harvard has made a live stream of Class Day available, giving those who want to stay inside the chance to watch the ceremony online.
Below is a video of Harvard’s 2012 commencement, but it will become a live stream of Harvard’s Class Day ceremony when it begins at 2 p.m.
O’Brien is forced to follow in the footsteps of curly-haired comedian Andy Samberg. He delivered last year’s Class Day speech, although it was far from inspirational, if not just downright awkward. After planting a smooch square on a student and hitting on all the moms—and dads—in the audience, all Samberg had to say was this:
Sure, the job market’s a little slow. Sure, our health care and social security systems are going to evaporate in five years. Sure, you’ll have to work until you’re 80 to support your 110-year-old parents who will live forever because of nanotechnology … but that doesn’t matter.
Oh, no, it does, and probably not what the Class of 2012 needed to hear.
O’Brien is expected to be “fantastic,” at least according to Harvard senior Nina Yancy, first class marshall. That could be school pride talking, however, because O’Brien is a Harvard alum. After taking time off in 1988, the award-winning journalist and founder of Starfish Media Group returned in 2000 to complete her degree. In the 2013-2014 academic year, O’Brien will also serve as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
Let’s just see if she can live up to the Class Day hype. It’s going to be hard to compete with that other O’Brien (Conan), Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell.