EDITORIAL: Looking forward to Jamie Hyneman’s address

Villanova’s Class of 2010 will hear an unorthodox speaker address them at the upcoming Commencement ceremony. This May, Jamie Hyneman of “MythBusters” fame, will deliver the commencement address at the graduation ceremony in May. 

Hyneman is no stranger to Villanova. He’s been involved in several projects with the College of Engineering, including a collaborative venture with the College of Engineering and the Office of Naval Research involving new types of military armor. 

Hyneman is, however, an unusal choice for a Commencement speaker. Those hoping for a prestigous name like President Barack Obama, speaking at The University of Michigan, CEO of General Electric Jeff Immelt, speaking at Boston College or Arnold Schwarzenegger, speaking at Emory University will be disappointed. 

But unusual does not necessarily mean unfortunate. The commencement speaker routine is well-established in higher education. A prominent, well-known name comes to campus and makes a speech with the usual graduation day platitudes about hard work, success and the meaning of life. We’re not sure exactly what to expect from Hyneman’s speech, but we’re confident that it will not be the standard, run-of-the-mill commencement day fare. 

In many ways, there is pressure on every school to invite the biggest names and the most prestigious speaker to address their graduating classes. Hyneman doesn’t exactly win this contest. 

Hyneman has achieved more in his life than just his hit TV show. His long list of skills includes Russian linguist, scuba diving, wilderness survival and cooking. He’s also an entrepreneur, owning the studio in which “Mythbusters” is filmed. 

Hyneman’s connections with Villanova makes his address more pertinent. Most Commencement speakers have little more connection to the institution they address than the name at the top of the check for their speaking fee, but Hyneman has worked with Villanova faculty and students in the past. 

As the Class of 2010’s graduation approaches, there is likely much apprehension about their careers and paths in life. The certainty of life at Villanova is about to be left behind for the uncertainty of life in the real world, and many seniors are no doubt nervous about the trajectories their lives are about to take. 

Hyneman’s path is one that few would call conventional, but his is also a path that proves that doing what you love will eventually bring you success. He does not carry with him the prestige of many other Commencement speakers across the country, but his life is a powerful statement of the importance of following your passions. For this reason, Jamie Hyneman is an interesting Commencement speaker for the Class of 2010, and we look forward to hearing his address.