Opinion Staff Editorial

Class of 2016, we have some commencement speaker suggestions

The class of 2016 may get a shot at choosing who speaks at their commencement in May.

Provost Paula Myrick Short sent out an email to students, faculty and staff Friday night asking for suggestions and The Cougar Editorial Board has a few recommendations as to who UH should bring in to follow in Matthew McConaughey’s steps.

All of the suggested candidates graduated from UH (sorry, Lil Wayne fans — he never did), so they shouldn’t cause as much of an uproar as University of Texas grad McConaughey did.

Jim Parsons
The actor graduated with a bachelor’s from UH before moving to the small screen with his starring role on “The Big Bang Theory.”  And he has experience giving commencement speeches. He gave one to the University of San Diego (the school where he earned his master’s) in 2009.

Elizabeth Warren
The Massachusetts senator graduated with a degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1970. She was even the associate dean of academic affairs for the UH Law Center in 1980. If that doesn’t make her qualified, we don’t know what does.

Jim Nantz
The broadcaster played for the golf team during his time at UH and received an honorary doctorate in 2001. Giving a UH commencement speech should be a piece of cake for him: he gave one to the class of 2001, 20 years after graduating himself.

Hakeem Olajuwon
Playing under legendary head coach Guy V. Lewis prepared Olajuwon for a career in the NBA, so he’s used to pressure. Him giving a commencement speech could bring back nostalgia from the Phi Slama Jama era. We’re even banking on a surprise guest appearance from former teammate and UH alumnus Clyde Drexler.

Dominque Sachse
The Emmy-winning anchor is the only one of our suggestions who still works in Houston, making her easily available and a showcase of what most UH grads go on to be: hardworking Houstonians.


Take your pick, UH.

— The Cougar Editorial Board


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