If there were a prize given for snagging the most interesting commencement speaker for a college graduation, the award this year might go to Whitman College in Walla Walla, whose graduates will hear from British comedy actor and writer Eric Idle this Sunday.
Idle, a member of the British comedy group Monty Python’s Flying Circus and author of the Broadway musical Spamalot, will give the address Sunday at 11 a.m. The graduation ceremony will be streamed live on the college’s website.
Whitman didn’t get Idle to come by chance; his daughter is graduating from the liberal-arts college this spring. College officials say that in addition to his speech, he may also reprise some of his performance from the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.
Next month, on June 15, University of Washington grads will hear from former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman during commencement ceremonies at CenturyLink Field. Graduates of the UW’s Bothell campus will hear from Oscar Arias, a two-time president of Costa Rica, on June 16. Other notable commencement speakers include state Rep. Cyrus Habib, D-Kirkland, who will deliver the keynote speech for Western Governor’s University at Benaroya Hall on Saturday, then perform Gershwin’s Summertime on the venue’s grand piano.