President Teresa Amott announced via email on Wednesday that the 2018 Commencement speaker will be Indian comedian Vir Das ‘02.
Amott noted that Das has cemented himself as a leader in entertainment in India since he graduated from Knox. According to his website, Das has acted in movies, performed more than 100 shows and is the first Indian comedian with a Netflix special.
Knox’s website reported that beyond the Netflix special “Abroad Understanding,” Das also has an upcoming comedy series to be released on Hulu.
“You can see in his approach to his comedic work, from stand-up and acting to writing and producing, that he is adept at navigating across cultures and overcoming stereotypes to provide his audiences with new perspectives on complicated issues and events,” Amott wrote in the campus-wide email.
Amott’s email also discussed the special timing of the announcement, coming during I-Fair. Das will be the second international alumnus to give the commencement speech, after former U.N. General Assembly President Ismat Kittani ’51 in 1982.
Das tweeted about the decision late Wednesday morning, expressing his excitement and humility.
“They’ve had Obama, Clinton, Colbert and this year, a fun lapse in judgement,” the tweet said.