Commencement Speaker Replaced with Old Man Telling Each Graduate the Date of Their Death

Renée Fleming, often referred to as “the People’s Diva,” has reportedly issued a statement announcing she will not be speaking at Ryan Field during the 2018 commencement ceremony. Instead, university officials announced, she will be replaced by a blind old man who will tell each graduate the date of their death. When asked why she had chosen to step down, a tear-stricken Fleming responded, “April 20, 2018,” before sprinting away holding her face in her hands.

According to reports, the man will forego the typical commencement address to the graduating class in favor of walking silently amongst the rows of sitting students, placing a pale, scarred hand on the forehead of those he selects, and announcing to the audience the date at which their life will cease.

“Yeah, he came to our school last year,” said a recent graduate of the University of Washington, Mark Hayburn. “He walked right up to me, stopped, and put his hands right on my temples. I felt so cold, like my energy was being drained into him. Then he said, ‘September 12, 2079.’ I really don’t know what to do with this information, I mean I have a consulting job lined up, but it all feels so fleeting and inconsequential now.” Hayburn allegedly proposed to his girlfriend of 4 weeks following the ceremony and the two are planning an indefinite road-trip around the American southwest.

“I think it’s inspiring,” stated Northwestern official Greg Warburton, “instead of these generic you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-mind-to kinds of speeches these kids are getting real motivation. I wish someone came up to me 30 years ago and said, ‘hey, you’ve got 70 more years, get it done.’ Who knows where I’d be now.”

At time of press, Flipside staff have attempted to reach out to the old man but have only received a short email in reply reading, “February 15, 1996,” the date of birth of the member who sent the email.

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