"The guiding rule is, no matter who you choose or whatever institution you're in, somebody's not going to like it," Laird Kruhly says. "We stand by our choices no matter what the public response is, but it certainly is a lot more fun and a lot easier when they're well received."
Some negative fervor has been brewing at The Ohio State University, where the selection of Speaker of the House and Ohio native John Boehner triggered a seemingly instantaneous backlash from some students on campus, according to senior Julie Golem. A self-proclaimed political neutral, Golem says the negativity—which has manifested in a protest via Facebook—is disheartening.
"We worked four years for this degree," Golem says. "Even if you're very into politics, you shouldn't let someone ruin your day like that."
Instead of allowing political leanings to cloud an earned celebration, Golem hopes her peers will take away a message of inspiration from their prominent speaker. "I wouldn't say [a speaker] could make or break a commencement, but I think it makes our commencement more important because [Boehner] is such an important government figure," Golem says.
"I hope he keeps it as non-political as possible," she adds, "[and] gives us a good sendoff as we take the next step in our lives."
Who is your ideal graduation speaker? Share your top choices with us on our Best Colleges Facebook page.