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‘Click and Clack’ A Good Choice

When President Clinton was announced as speaker for Commencement 1998, I felt proud. Finally, I thought, MIT was deemed important enough for a sitting president to accept speak at commencement. Subsequently, I was stunned when I heard that Tom and Ray Magliozzi were chosen for Commencement 1999. Granted, I’ve enjoyed listening to NPR’s “Car Talk” for almost ten years. But the juxtaposition of the leader of the free world with a couple of auto mechanics jarred my senses.

After a little thought, though, I realized that the Magliozzi brothers are a fine choice. After all, what are the criteria for choosing a good commencement speaker? Should we choose someone merely to impress our Ivy League adversaries? Or, should we rather seek out individuals who can provide us with thoughtful insights born of experiences we may not have had?

I commend President Charles M. Vest for his excellent judgement in inviting these two popular alumni for this year’s speakers. I fully expect their address to be at least as useful to the graduating class as President Clinton’s. I also expect it will be far more memorable, the absence of political protesters notwithstanding.

Matt Giamporcaro ’85