Kean Graduation – May 13, 2010

After attending college in three different generations, I finally graduated (with honors) this past May 13 from Kean University. The graduation ceremony was held at the PNC Arts Center (116 off Garden State Parkway - for all you non-New Jersey-ians who pick on our exits) in order to hold the expected crowd of over 20,000 people.

Anyway, believe it or not I wasn’t that excited to go. The ceremony was to start at 9:30am and the school said graduating students should be there no later than 8am, followed by a statement that said this graduation is for you and your enjoyment. I hate waking up in the morning, I’m a night owl, so if it’s for my enjoyment I don’t even wanna go. But... my parents were super excited and really wanted to see me walk at graduation so I caved in and said I would go.

The morning of graduation I woke up at 8:30am and made it to the PNC Arts center by about 9:15. Again.. if it was for me, who would care if I was late... I’m the one being honored here.

So there I was, with the other 2000 plus graduating students waiting in line to be seated in the arena. ( I made the right choice by the way, they were just standing there for two hours doing nothing.) After a photographer took each graduate’s picture, we were filed in to our respective seats organized by department. I was seated with the media and film department. (right center of the stage , rows 4 and 5).

Even at this point, moments away from a goal that took me 3 generations to achieve I still wasn’t that excited to be there, I was still sleepy and grumpy and probably a few other of snow whites dwarfs. But then a few of the students that became friends with were seated right near me and I started to perk up and enjoy the moment. It was then that realized I would do something at this ceremony.

I was sitting next to this real hot cool girl (lots of adjectives but she deserves it) that I had a few classes with at Kean. I started to tell her that I was going to take the mic and speak at graduation today. She keep responding with you’re crazy, you’ll never do it, no way, etc... The President of Kean U. began with his opening speech and I was going to go up on stage and take the mic from him right then and give a riveting speech (in my mind at least) to the crowd of 23,000. But the moment wasn’t right and the girl next to me thought I would get arrested so I backed down.

The ceremony continued with our commencement speaker, Hill Harper (CSI - NY). This guy gave a great speech but what he also did was go into the crowd while giving this speech. It was at this moment that I knew I would grab the mic and speak. All I had to do was find the right moment and jump at it.

Hill Harper passed by my seat once and I tried to fist bump him but he didn’t even see me and keep on walking and talking. After that he went back onto the stage and I thought I my moment was again lost. Then about 5 minutes into his speech he re-entered the crowd and asked us to write on a notecard what our dreams were, what we really wanted to do. This was my opportunity and I knew I would seize it. He again passed by my seat and I knew he had to come back the same way so I positioned myself in the ilse where he couldn’t get by me without noticing me. As he approached I stuck out my notecard and he responded...

Below is the video of what actually happened, it starts about 20 seconds before I grab the mic...

Enjoy!

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  1. Jeremy says:

    Only you Dave find a way to get on the mic and speak at graduation!!

  2. melissa says:

    Awesome!

  3. Jared G. says:

    Classic. Keep goin’ brother. I still can’t get over the intro. to that reality show you did. One of the funniest things I have seen in a while.

    Great class. Great times. Congrats again my man.

  4. Ellen says:

    PHENOMONAL!!!

  5. Steve says:

    Congrats Beirstein!!!
    Looking forward to following your road trip.
    See you in Cali.

    Steve

  6. Jeanne (Burkhard) Egan says:

    Hey Dave,
    Spoke to your mom today (called the office to make an appointment for my mom) and she told me the exciting news so I had to go to your website to see for myself!!! Congratulations on your College Graduation!!! It is so inspiring to see someone have the courage to go for their dreams. Good luck on the road! I am confident this too will lead somewhere exciting for you! Who knows maybe you can stop by to see Oprah during her last season….planting the seed…
    Warmest regards,
    Jeanne

  7. Peter says:

    Best.Guy.Ever. Dave you are the stone cold nuts. I hope you enjoy CA as much as humanly possible..

  8. Peter says:

    DONATE TO THE ROOSTER! He was in a car accident

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