During May, our Throwback Thursday posts will be highlighting some of this year’s major-reunion classes. Our series continues with the Class of 2004.
Jon Stewart, an honorary member of the Class of 2004, at Class Day. (Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications; published in the July 7, 2004, issue of PAW)
“There’s something we need to tell you about the real world,” Daily Show host Jon Stewart told the soon-to-be-graduates at Class Day 2004. “I don’t know how to put this so I’ll be blunt. We broke it.”
Stewart, a native of nearby Lawrence Township and brother of alumnus Larry Leibowitz ’82, gave an entertaining address that included encouragement for the graduating class along with quips about Hoagie Haven and an evaluation of then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ’54’s interrogation policy (what some called abuse was actually “freedom tickling”).
Stewart joked that his new 2004 beer jacket, pictured, was on par with an honorary doctorate, and he promised to give it a place of honor — in his attic, “next to the visor I got for doing Arsenio.”
One of student speakers that day, Jay Katsir ’04, made a nod to the humming cicadas that arrived just in time for the Reunions and Commencement festivities. “During the time when other schools have a ‘senior week’ with a variety of university-sponsored events like booze cruises, we have a ‘dead week’ with a variety of biblical plagues, like hail and locusts,” Katsir said.
Stewart was impressed with the budding comedian, telling reporters afterward, “That kid’s good.” Katsir has since won three Emmys for comedy writing with the staff of The Colbert Report.