This Week in Villanova History: April 1, 2000

Regis Philbin named commencement speaker

By Sarah Kelly and Susan Lombardo

The University announced that Regis Philbin, host of the popular game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and the talk show, “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” will speak at the commencement ceremony for the class of 2000.

The University outbid other schools, including Harvard, Yale and Gonzaga who competed to bring Philbin to their commencement ceremonies.

Philbin has an unorthodox speech planned for this year’s ceremony. Traditionally commencement is hosted at the stadium.

However, Philbin has enlisted the help of a cutting-edge sound and light specialist to convert the Pavilion into a pseudo-stage.

As a special added bonus, Rege promised Kathie Lee Gifford would also make an appearance to sing a duet with her son, Cody. They will perform their rendition of Cody’s favorite ‘N Sync song, “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

Gifford said, “I do my best to stay hip these days. We chose this song because it will speak to the students’ who are concluding four years’ worth of memories and emotional growth.

“Choreographing this dance will be an awesome experience for Cody and me. Plus, I get a chance to wear my new leather pants.”

All graduating students must attend a mandatory “fast fingers” orientation session in the Registrar’s office. The scores will be recorded and ranked.

At commencement, diplomas will be distributed based on the fastest time, rather than alphabetically.

“I thought this would be a clever way to give those end-of-the-alphabet students a fair shot,” said Philbin.

Zeek Suger, a senior astronomy major, said “I’m glad I won’t have to sit through all of those names. I want to get my diploma and get the hell out of this place. I’ve been practicing on my at-home version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'”

The University called upon Philbin to encourage students, especially Liberal Arts majors, to rely on sheer luck to make their millions.

Philbin’s appearance will also make students feel that the facts they have memorized over the past four years could be useful at some point in their lives.

Philbin encourages the students to prepare for the event. “You’ll have to drum up all of those fine arts facts, kids. So take a look at those fine arts books and get crackin’!”

So far, the response from seniors has been very positive. A group of enthusiasts have formed a welcoming committee to usher Philbin in when he comes to Villanova complete with floats, balloon arches and Regis Philbin temporary tattoos.

“I’ve always admired Philbin for his fine taste in home décor and his knack for arts and crafts. I am also a big fan of those shiny ties,” said G.T. Bynum, president of the Student Government Association.

Philbin announced, “I am proud to speak at Villanova because I want to be surrounded by future millionaires. Forget Harvard. Forget Yale. I want Villanova. And that’s my final answer.”