‘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



We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

Utah Education Association President Renée Pinkney speaks at a press conference near the Matheson ...

Eric Cabrera

Utah teachers union files lawsuit against scholarship/voucher program

The Utah Education Association says the Utah Education Fits All scholarship is unconstitutional.

57 minutes ago

Rare earth minerals...

Don Brinkerhoff

Rare earth minerals found in Utah, Colorado, are critical for cleaner energy sources

Rare earth minerals have been found in Utah and Colorado mines according to University of Utah researchers.

1 day ago

food is sorted, kids more open to food insecurity during summer months...

Britt Johnson

Summertime leaves kids vulnerable to food insecurity

The president of the Utah Food Bank said kids who rely on school breakfast and lunch will face food insecurity this summer.

2 days ago

Photo courtesy of Getty Images...

Curt Gresseth

Liberal arts education is a good choice for students, says professor

Education in the liberal arts is trending down in the US, but a University of Pennsylvania professor argues for pursuing liberal arts.

4 days ago

students walk on the U of U campus,...

Aimee Cobabe

University of Utah changes policy on tuition coverage for student employees

The University of Utah is changing its policy on covering tuition costs for employees. Not everyone is pleased with this change.

5 days ago

Gardens grown at the Utah State Correctional Facility...

Heather Peterson

New department prepares inmates for life after prison

A new prison program aims to help inmates gain work skills and training to to be successful for life after prison.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

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