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Bill Pullman Gave an INDEPENDENCE DAY-Style Commencement Speech

Bill Pullman Gave an INDEPENDENCE DAY-Style Commencement Speech

When I graduated college *cough* 11 years ago *cough*, our commencement address was given by some pillar of the community, and I’m sure it was pretty inspiring or whatever. But if I’m completely honest (and I would never lie to you), I don’t remember who that person was or what they talked about or really anything else of note about that day aside from it being really hot and being on the cusp of getting shingles in my mouth (yeah, for reals that happened). Which is why I’m incredibly envious of the students of Warren Wilson College who got to close out their academic tenure with a speech by Independence Day‘s President Whitmore.

On Saturday, the class of ’17 was treated to an address from actor Bill Pullman, who began by doing something he’d been wanting to do “for a couple of decades”: deliver a speech in the same style as his character from the 1996 sci-fi disaster flick. “You will not go quietly into the night,” he bellowed with a definite twinkle in his eyes. “Today, you celebrate your Graduation Day!” For the next 30 minutes of the speech, Pullman gave advice and anecdotes and spoke from the heart, and it will surely be the kind of thing these new graduates will take with them as they enter the adult world. But forever, they’ll get to say that they got to hear the president from ID4 tell them not to go quietly into the night.

A lot of the final act of Independence Day is so full of hokum they should name it Dwight Hokum, but there’s no besmirching Whitmore’s speech to his squadron of F-18 fighters–really, to the world, and us–which ends with the titular day on the calendar getting a nice name check. Never ceases to make us feel empowered.

Did anybody cool talk at your college commencement? What other fictional presidents would you like to see give speeches to children? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: 20th Century Fox

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He writes the weekly look at weird or obscure films in Schlock & Awe. Follow him on Twitter!

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