Brooke Baldwin, a CNN news anchor, will be the 2017 spring commencement speaker. A 2001 graduate of UNC, Baldwin joined CNN in 2008 and became an anchor in 2010. University Editor Acy Jackson spoke with Baldwin about being the speaker and her plans for the speech.
The Daily Tar Heel: What does being selected mean to you?
Brooke Baldwin: So, should I tell you the crazy dance I did when I got the email from Carol Folt? I mean, listen, this is a total bucket list opportunity. Think about it, I was in your shoes ... I graduated in 2001. So imagine, like flash forward 15 years when you do half decently at whatever career you choose, and the University that you are deeply in love with calls you up and tells you they want you at Kenan (Memorial) Stadium to hopefully opine and say something wise to the graduates of 2017. It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime situation.
DTH: What do you hope to say with your speech?
BB: First of all, I hope that everyone will have had too many Blue Cups the night before as I might have 15 years ago. Secondly, I think it will be a combination of who I am; I’m not going to assume everyone knows who I am. I think I’ll talk about how Carolina helped create a piece of who I’ve become. And also, I’ll tell some stories along the way ... Anything from running into Donald Trump and Melania and having them offer me Milk Duds at an Adele concert last year, to hanging out with Ice Cube, to, like, massive low points in my career ... my biggest priority is talking to the students. Of course, I love that everybody’s family will be there, but this is a 100 percent shoutout to the guys and gals in the class of 2017.