EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

‘The Office’ actor Rainn Wilson offers laughter and advice to Weber State grads

Apr 29, 2024, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:22 am

Actor Rainn Wilson speaks at Weber State University's 2024 Commencement Ceremony....

Actor Rainn Wilson speaks at Weber State University’s commencement program at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Friday, April 26, 2024. (Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

OGDEN, Utah — When Weber State University asked students who they wanted as a graduation speaker, students said a celebrity.

That’s why Rainn Wilson was featured at WSU’s 2024 commencement. Wilson is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute in NBC’s sitcom “The Office.” He spoke at the school on April 26. 

It cost Weber State $125,000 as previously reported, of which a donor reportedly paid 70%.

Rainn Wilson’s speech: advice sprinkled with TV references

“Blood alone moves the wheels of history!” said Wilson as he threw his fist in the air.

The audience laughed, recognizing the line that was spoken by his character in “The Office.” 

Following the famous line, Wilson switched gears. 

“I’ve got something bigger and better for you.  That’s what she said,” said Wilson.  Students, faculty, and guests erupted into more laughter at another iconic phrase from “The Office.”

While Wilson referenced TV shows throughout the speech, he said that his goal was to share something more meaningful. 

He then gave the graduates five pieces of advice: 

“Gather a bouquet of virtues”

“When we die, we can’t take with us our Teslas and Xboxes. We can take with us our bouquet of virtues like kindness, humility and joy,” said Wilson. 

“Be ‘other-centered'”

“Selfishness doesn’t work. Otherishness does,” said Wilson

“Live like it’s Dungeons and Dragons”

“It’s a group of people on a mission-imagining, laughing,” Wilson said. 

“Devote yourself to love”

“Both Jesus and the hippies got one thing gloriously right,” said Wilson

“Keep hope alive”

Wilson recalled failures and trials that he experienced during his career. He advised the graduates to keep hoping, otherwise, they will not find motivation. 

Weber State also awarded Wilson an honorary doctorate at the ceremony. He mouthed, “I’m a doctor!” to the crowd when an official gave him the plaque.

Related: Weber State University to offer class on Taylor Swift this fall

 

 

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‘The Office’ actor Rainn Wilson offers laughter and advice to Weber State grads