When I first took a look at the list of names the very first one that popped out to me was Neil Gaiman. The second I saw his name I knew I wanted him to come to speak at Bucknell. He is a writer and comic artist know prominently for his comic Sandman and his novels American Gods, Anansi Boys, and Coraline which was turned into a film. He has written screenplays including the CGI myth Beowulf, and he is currently working with HBO to create a miniseries adaptation of his novel American Gods. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of his work. So I immediately started to look up information and videos about him and I stumbled across him along with a few others speaking to college students about success and brilliance.
From this video another name pops up which I’m sure many have heard of. Neil Degrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and frequent guest appearance on shows such as The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and others. When I saw that he was not on the list of persons given I immediately knew I had to mention him. He would most certainly fall under the category of Engineering and the Future. Tyson is featured quite often as a speaker on the universe, the future, and science in general on television, conferences, and motivational speakings. Here is a video where Tyson advocates the continued funding of NASA. To me this is the epitome of what our future can be. Furthermore here is a long interview , it is a great listen, but if you are pressed for time go to the last question asked, around the 23:30 mark. The question is what is the hardest problem for science today, and Tyson’s answer is extremely interesting and relevant.
So I believe either one of these Neils, Gaiman or Tyson, would make amazing speakers at Bucknell. Both have a way with words, a way with inspiring students. They both have great advice and I would be jumping for joy if either one came to Bucknell. Here is a commencement speech by Neil Gaiman which although tailored for a school of the Arts, is still relevant for anyone.
And to finish this little clip from Tyson epitomizes the possibilities of the future and space.