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Chris “Doc” Wyatt Delivers 2024 Commencement Speech

Thank you to Chris “Doc” Wyatt, Class of 1993, who spoke at Saturday’s 2024 Commencement. Wyatt, who, among his many credits, produced “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Super Dinosaur” and “Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters,” said he was honored to return to his alma mater. 

“Walker is a very, very special place,” he told the Class of 2024. “You may not fully see that now, but I think in 30 years you’re going to look back and you’re going to see how special this place is and how special all of these people around you are.”

Wyatt, who began his Walker career in Kindergarten, said he hadn’t been nervous about giving the speech until about a month ago. 

“They asked me to speak after last year’s graduation. So I had a whole year to prepare, and I was excited for a whole year to come back to Walker, and then about a month before today, I started getting really nervous because these are smart kids. These are Walker kids. These are kids that are going to go off and have amazing futures and this is the very last instruction that you will all receive as high school students,” Wyatt said. 

He told the Class of 2024 that his nerves disappeared after he had dinner with some fellow Walker classmates during which they all agreed that not only did they not remember what their commencement speaker said, but they couldn’t remember who the speaker was. 

“There are moments that are crystallized in my mind (from graduation), but not the speaker, so it’s nice knowing you now, and in 30 years when we meet on the street, it will be nice when you don’t recognize me at all,” he joked with the graduates. 

The Class of 2024 may not remember every word Wyatt uttered, but they most likely will remember his three pieces of advice:

> Follow your passion. Follow it in every part of your life. He shared a story about working with lego builders in Denmark, and when he looked around a room he and his writing partner were working in with artists and builders, he noticed that every person was passionate about what they were doing. “They were getting paid for that,” he said. “If you can follow your passion and bring it to something then that’s going to bring you joy in your life. I want each of you to have a look on your face like a Danish lego designer when you go into your futures. ”

> Keep track of your good ideas. Wyatt shared that he and his writing partner had worked really hard on an idea only to initially have the show canceled. He was going to destroy all of the story cards they had hung up on the walls of a writing room, but a friend walked in and told him he should keep them. A couple of weeks later, the company came back to them and asked them to write the show afterall, so he was able to pull out the cards that contained the ideas he otherwise had forgotten. 

> Choose to be kind. Wyatt said it can be easy and sometimes beneficial to be unkind because you can feel better about yourself or protect yourself from social anxiety. “But if you are unkind enough, you become an unkind person, and I’ve never met an unkind person who was happy,” he said. Wyatt said even if the graduates had been unkind before, which he said he had, college was a great place to reinvent themselves and choose new directions. “My advice is that you choose kindness as one of those directions because it will make your life and the lives of those around you better.”

To hear Wyatt’s speech and see the Class of 2024 Commencement, click here.
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