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Ken Jeong will serve as the Class of 2023 Senior Convocation keynote speaker.

April 26, 2023

Actor and Comedian Ken Jeong to be Class of 2023 Convocation Speaker

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The Class of 2023 can expect a laugh at the Senior Convocation on Thursday, May 25. Actor and comedian Ken Jeong — who starred in the film series “The Hangover” as Leslie Chow and the reality singing competition “The Masked Singer” as a panelist — was announced as the keynote speaker on Wednesday.

Jeong was selected by the student-run 2023 Convocation Committee.

“Ken Jeong was a highly coveted speaker and, from the beginning, our committee was thrilled about the prospect of having him join the Class of ’23,” said Yasmin Ballew ’23, chair of the committee, in a statement to the Cornell Chronicle. “Of the many names we discussed, he stood out for his passion, commitment to advocacy and, of course, his humor.”

Jeong wrote, produced and starred in the ABC sitcom “Dr. Ken,” a show that was based on his experiences in medicine prior to becoming a stand-up comedian. He also played the role of Ben Chang on the critically acclaimed series “Community” and has acted in the films “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Knocked Up” and “The Duff.”

In addition to his performance career, Jeong is a licensed physician and an anti-racism advocate. He has been vocal about the rise in racism and hate crimes against the Asian American community in recent years. 

Jeong began acting while attending Duke University as an undergraduate and later received his M.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1995. In the summer before attending medical school, Jeong took acting classes at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

While a medical student, Jeong was a regular at open mic nights in the Raleigh-Durham circuit. After earning his degree, he moved to Los Angeles to practice medicine while performing regularly at The Improv and Laugh Factory comedy clubs. His stand-up comedy led to his landing small parts in television shows such as “The Office,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and HBO’s “Entourage” before landing larger roles.

Senior Convocation will take place on May 25 at 1 p.m. in Barton Hall for undergraduate graduates part of the Class of 2023. Graduating graduate and professional students, in addition to the current Cornell community, will be invited as space allows.