It is my honor to announce the 2013 Irvine Valley College Commencement Speaker Mary Niven, Vice President of Disney California Adventure® Park and Guest Services at the Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, Calif. It was the request of our ASIVC students that this year’s commencement speaker be an executive from Disneyland.The announcement was remarkable for at least two reasons. First, in years past, selection of commencement speaker has employed a process including (1) the identification of recommended speakers—the task of a committee with wide college representation—and (2) final selection by the college president. Usually, this process occurs during the middle of spring semester—i.e., many months from now.
|The utterly unacademic|
One might say that these choices reflect, in part, the notoriously unscholarly preoccupations of contemporary youth and pop culture. Other choices seem to reflect the limited and stultifying perspective associated with the world of business or the Neanderthalic patriotism and conformist attitudes of Republicanland. Our last commencement speaker—a pleasant fellow somehow selected by the President despite not having been recommended by the committee—actually plagiarized some of his address. (Plagiarism may be swell in the worlds of business, fish tacos, or jumping-jacks, but it is still considered sin #1 in academia.)
|"Here, clasp my plastic hand!"|
What is remarkable, then, is that, with this particular history of controversy, the college president has chosen to select the thoroughly unacademic Mary Niven, a horseshit-spouting flack for Disney. And he has done so without apology and with his trademark opacity. How did this selection come about? Was this year’s selection process simply a matter of heeding “the request of our ASIVC students”? By what logic is a professional BSer for a theme park a good choice as commencement speaker?
Glenn, carrying the weight of the world, on his cardboard
For a tiptoe through the tulips of past IVC “commencement speaker” controversies, please peruse the following:
• Plagiarism is a form of theft, Glenn (but all is well, really) ~ Commencement speakers shouldn't steal, in our opinion
• "Too Political" ~ Guys in suits don't have politics, evidently.
• That's some leadership, that leadership à la Roquemore ~ the President and the Process. They say Rocky gets animated about rocks and such (he's a geologist). Could be.
• News about Gustavo Arellano, who, again, won't be commencement speaker ~ The NYT praises the Mexican's Taco USA; meanwhile, IVC woos Del Taco
• Irvine Valley College commencement speaker announced ~ Maxwell, the Geico pig
• The Saddleback College Academic Senate pushes back against Prayer Boy ~ Prez overrules Commencement Committee choice not to have a Commencement prayer.
• Commencement speaker choices: the controversial and the unimaginative ~ Glenn passes on Gustavo, then UCLA snags ‘im
• Commencement speaker choice a good one ~ A decent speaker, for once
• I(VC) coulda had a V8! ~ Glenn passes on "Gustavo & his Epicureans" in favor of "Jack Scott & the Bromides"; but that's OK cuz UCLA soon snagged the Mexican bandleader for their little fiesta
• Free advertising! ~ According to IVC, Gandhi was an African-American. Odd that.
• Perfect grass ~ Sharon Salinger of UCI squawks like a progressive; Glenn faints into the arms of Mike Carona's ghost
• Irvine Valley College Commencement (2008)
• “Don’t go!”—the 2007 Saddleback College Commencement ~ I think the speaker was OC dog catcher or something
• What about Gustavo Arellano? ~ Baboons run this district (2008)
• Ouch! ~ Reuben Martinez gets all humane and friendly; Tio Tom Fuentes has an aneurysm
• Irvine Valley College 2007 Commencement ~ Motivational Claptrap
• Pompous and Circumstantial ~ Rebel Girl commentary, 2006. Gentle bombs
Mary Niven starts at 00:50 -- "put on your magical [Mickey Mouse] ears"