Michael Keaton to speak at 2018 commencement ceremony


Courtesy of MJ KIM/HFA2014/Getty Images

Actor Michael Keaton will speak at Kent State’s 2018 One University Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12, Kent State President Beverly Warren announced Monday in an email sent to the community.

Keaton attended Kent State for two years and studied speech. He eventually moved back to his home state of Pennsylvania, where he started his career on “Mister Rodger’s Neighboorhood” in 1975. Other iconic films Keaton starred in include “Beetlejuice” in 1988, “Batman” in 1989, “Spotlight” in 2015, and “Spiderman: Homecoming” in 2017.

He also won a Golden Globe for his role in “Birdman” in 2014.

“We look forward to hearing Mr. Keaton as we continue our tradition of coming together as one to celebrate the achievements of our students with their families and our academic community,” Warren wrote in the email. 

Kent State released a series of hints on its Twitter page Sunday night leading up to the announcement.

Last spring, Octavia Spencer served as the commencement speaker at Dix Stadium.

Kent State will pay Keaton the same amount it paid Spencer last year— $100,000, according to a records request. 

Warren also highlighted changes to the format of graduation this year, as well. Last year, every college in the university went to the “university-wide commencement” ceremony. Once Spencer’s speech ended, each college went to its own venue on campus to host its graduation. 

This year, it will be one university-wide commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., where Keaton will speak and every college will read the graduates’ names.

Warren also mentioned the proposed 10-year Facilities Master Plan and university’s largest comprehensive campaign. She released three days in which she will speak about an update on the Master Plan at the Kent State Center Ballroom Balcony: 

  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20
  • Noon-1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22
  • 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28

“At this 2018 Spring Commencement, we look forward to recognizing all students receiving a degree as they cross the stage at Dix Stadium to be recognized personally for their accomplishments,” Warren wrote. 

Lydia Taylor is the editor of The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Adam Kirasic is the news director of TV2. Contact him at [email protected]