There was some debate last week about whether Leo Sidran's commencement address would be well received.
Reports from Madison say the speech was a success, although the graduates did bat around a beach ball or two, prompting Leo to interject off the cuff: "I see what you’re doing, and I think it’s not a bad idea. You know, when you leave this room today, there are some things that you’re gonna need, and some big balls never hurt."
One sexual joke led to another:
"I've had the opportunity recently to speak with a number of students and teachers at West. You know, there are 16 students with 4.0 grade points this year. It is impressive. Some of the students described the pressure to maintain such good grades — if you had a 4.0 and lost it along the way, it was a traumatic and potentially humiliating affair. One student told me how she lost her 4.0 senior year in an advanced science class. Another told me he lost his much earlier, in freshman biology. It made me wonder, doesn’t anyone lose it in the back seat of a Buick anymore?"
The rest of the speech provided an inspirational message for graduates to follow what they love doing and move toward things that excite and scare them.