This year’s graduating class will hear a Milton alum of their choosing at their final event as Milton students. The 2013 commencement speaker is actress and comedienne Jenny Slate, Milton Class of 2000. Jenny was a Saturday Night Live cast member during the 2009–2010 season, following work at the improv/sketch comedy theater, Upright Citizens Brigade, where she performed her one-woman show Dead Millionaire.
Jenny and her husband, director Dean Fleischer-Camp, co-wrote the viral success, stop-motion short film “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.” (Jenny performs the unique and endearing voice of Marcel.) The two then co-authored the New York Times best-selling Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me. A sequel to the picture book is due out later this year.
Jenny has made guest appearances on television programs such as Parks and Recreation, Girls and Raising Hope. You can hear her voice as Ted’s mom in the 2012 animated film Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
Jenny was a student speaker at her own Milton graduation thirteen years ago. She attended Columbia University, where she earned a degree in English and comparative literature. Jenny lived in New York City and Brooklyn for twelve years, working as a stand-up comedienne, both in partnership with friend Gabe Liedman and performing solo shows. Jenny now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their dog, Reggie. She performs stand-up comedy weekly.
The tradition of inviting Milton graduates to speak at commencement began in 2004. In the fall of their Class I year, student committee volunteers partner with class deans and the alumni office on choosing the year’s speaker. After developing a list of qualities and characteristics important to them, students narrow a pool of potential candidates, reading bios of the alumni and watching video clips of their public presentations. Students present their final choices to Head of School Todd Bland, who invites the speaker to campus in this special role.