My college commencement killed Douglas Adams. I was very excited to graduate. I was deeply finished with college, already had an apartment ready to move into in a new city, had a moving truck loaded up outside the on-campus apartment. I had half a mind to just skip graduation entirely, be done with the entire thing. But my parents and grandparents had insisted on coming down for the thing, and so I was going to put on the robe, sit in the ninety degree weather, and go through the whole song and dance.
The one part of this I had any affection for was the simple fact that Douglas Adams was our commencement speaker. This made me profoundly happy, to the point that had my grumbles about sitting through graduation not been vetoed by the older generations, I probably still would have gone just to meet Adams (it was only a class of 140 or so) and hear him speak.
He died suddenly of a heart attack at age 49 two days before the speech. We got a mass email the next morning.
So. Um. Sorry about that.
An alumnus who happened to be on hand was invited at the last minute to give a speech instead. It was serviceable, but when you’re filling in for Douglas Adams in front of an audience of nerds, that’s sort of the highest bar you can hope for. But in any case, I have a soft spot for commencement addresses.
Charlie Day gave one at his alma mater of Merrimack College a couple of days ago, and it’s kind of lovely, in exactly that patented Charlie Day way that probably immediately leaps to mind.
Here you go: