Humorist Rocca to Address Seniors Before Graduation

On May 13, two days before Harvard divinity Professor Peter J. Gomes addresses graduates at Commencement, television humorist Mo Rocca will deliver what is likely to be a different sort of speech in the University’s first Senior Class Address.

Best known as a bow-tied former correspondent for The Daily Show, Rocca agreed to speak at the event organized by student leaders, including senior class officers, following dissatisfaction expressed by some seniors with their role in choosing Gomes as the Commencement speaker.

Rocca graduated from Harvard but isn’t new to UNC. In October 2002, he visited campus to file a signature Daily Show mock special report on the University’s summer reading controversy about Approaching the Qur’an.

Rocca will receive $18,000 in speaker fees and $1,500 in travel expenses. More than half the cost will be paid through funds allocated from student fees. Senior class funds, the Campus Y and the Office of the Provost also will provide money.

Rocca regularly contributes his unusual brand of commentary to NBC’s Today Show and CNN. A regular guest on National Public Radio’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” Rocca recently published All the Presidents’ Pets: The Story of One Reporter Who Refused to Roll Over.

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