The Convocation Committee announced that Bill Nye ’77 will be the 2019 convocation speaker after the Student Assembly meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Nye, or “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” is best known as the host of the 19-Emmy-winning PBS children’s science show, Bill Nye The Science Guy.
Nye also stars in a Netflix original series called Bill Nye Saves the World, and was the focus of a 2017 biographical documentary film called Bill Nye: The Science Guy.
Nye graduated from Cornell in 1977 with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. He was first involved with comedy in 1986 after a stint working for Boeing finally receiving his own show, Bill Nye the Science Guy in 1993.
Nye has been heavily involved with Cornell. In 2011, he gave a speech to a crowded Statler Auditorium dedicating the sundial embedded in the façade of Frank T. Rhodes Hall. More recently, during 2017’s reunion weekend, he gave a speech titled: ‘Everything All At Once – How Cornellians Will Save the World.’
Nye’s reveal comes two weeks after the Convocation Committee’s original pick, comedian and Patriot Act host Hasan Minhaj, dropped out hours before the committee’s planned announcement on April 11.
This year’s selection has been marked by contention. The speaker announcement was delayed twice, the second time ascribed to S.A.’s decision to reject Resolution 36, which “urged” Cornell to divest from Israel, according to an article published in The Sun earlier this month. The cause of the original delay was unspecified.
According to another article published days later, representatives said they felt it was not the time to bring up further disappointing news.
“The community had already sustained a big loss with divestment,” Omar Din ’19, a proponent of the resolution, said in an interview with The Sun for the article. He said that Charlotte Lefkovitz ’19, a leader of the committee, “wanted to be empathetic announcing another setback. I have full respect for that decision, and think that it takes so much compassion for her to have recognized that.”
Senior Convocation will take place on Saturday, May 25, 2019.
This post will be updated.