NPR logo How Can We Be Surprised: NPR's Gary E. Knell Asks UCLA Grads

Official Biz

How Can We Be Surprised: NPR's Gary E. Knell Asks UCLA Grads

NPR President and CEO Gary E. Knell returned to his old stomping grounds on Father's Day to deliver the commencement speech for graduates of UCLA's Political Science Department.

Reflecting on his own aspirations as a freshman entering the UCLA campus during a very different time in society, journalism public policy and international affairs, Gary reminded the graduates how fortunate they are to have lived and learned in one of the country's most diverse and forward-thinking cities.

Gary placed emphasis on the universal language of storytelling, speaking on the power of the media and information technology in a world where there are more cell phones than people. He charged the grads with this:

"If we are the curators of our information streams, we find what we are looking for, but not much else. How can we be surprised? How can we keep our eyes opened when we're only looking at what we've decided we should look at?

"I want to challenge you to reverse mentor us, so we can tell the Los Angeles story, California's story, America's story and the world's story. This is the world you are inheriting from us parents, grandparents and alums and it needs to be told."

Watch Gary's entire speech below: