NPR Host Peter Sagal to Deliver 2024 Commencement Address

April 16, 2024

Peter Sagal, the dynamic host of NPR’s acclaimed comedy news quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, will speak at the 2024 Commencement ceremony on May 20. With a career spanning over two decades in radio, television, and writing, Sagal is renowned for his witty commentary on current events, politics, and the American experience. His ability to seamlessly blend humor with insightful analysis has captivated audiences nationwide. 

Sagal, a Harvard alumnus, offers a unique perspective on the intersections of politics, civics, and entertainment that makes him an ideal choice to address our graduating class. His ability to engage and entertain audiences while delivering meaningful insights will undoubtedly inspire Grinnell graduates as they embark on their next chapter. 

Sagal’s journey as a humorist and commentator has taken him from sold-out theaters across the country to prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall. As the host of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, he has interviewed luminaries ranging from presidents to Nobel Prize winners, all while entertaining millions of listeners each week. 

Beyond his radio work, Sagal is a prolific playwright, screenwriter, author, and journalist. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including a Peabody Award and the Kurt Vonnegut Award for Humor. Sagal’s versatility and wide-ranging interests reflect the spirit of curiosity and exploration that Grinnell College seeks to instill in its students. 

In addition to his work in broadcasting, he is a devoted marathoner, playwright, and screenwriter. His theatrical works have been produced by esteemed institutions such as the Long Wharf Theater, Seattle Rep, and Actors Theater of Louisville. Sagal’s contributions to literature include The Book of Vice: Naughty Things (and How to Do Them) and The Incomplete Book of Running, offering readers insights into his experiences and reflections on life. 

Sagal shared, “I am beyond honored to be asked to address Grinnell’s Class of 2024 and will do my best to live up to the College’s tradition of independent intellectual inquiry. I’m aware that many of the graduates have been listening to my voice from a very young age, and would like to assure them that this time, they will not be strapped into a car seat.” 

Grinnell College will host its outdoor Commencement ceremony on Central Campus at 10 a.m. on May 20, 2024. The ceremony will be available via livestream so all can join in the celebration of our graduates’ accomplishments. 

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