Big names headline commencement ceremonies

Legendary ESPN commentator and master of clever nicknames Chris Berman has been selected by the Greenwich High School (GHS) Class of 2013 as the commencement speaker for the June 21 graduation ceremony, to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the school’s Cardinal Stadium.

And Mr. Berman is not the only celebrity to be heading to town for upcoming graduations. Greenwich Academy, which in the past has been able to have graduates listen to commencement addresses from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Tina Fey, has announced that Emmy-winning actress Julie Bowen, a star of ABC’s smash hit Modern Family will be giving this year’s speech.

A former town resident, Mr. Berman began with ESPN only one month after its inception in 1979 and, according to his biography, “over the past three decades, he has become one of America’s most respected, popular, and in many ways, most beloved sportscasters of his era” according to the school. He is a six-time recipient of the National Sportscaster of the Year Award, and has been recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He and the various shows he has hosted have won 10 Emmy Awards and 12 CableACEs.

Currently Mr. Berman serves as commentator for NFL Football, Major League Baseball, the U.S. Open and is a veteran of 30 Super Bowls. He has also played himself in 11 motion pictures, and has appeared on many late night talk shows cementing his status as one of the best known faces on ESPN.

“It is an honor to have Chris Berman as our Graduation speaker,” GHS Headmaster Chris Winters said. “Mr. Berman is proof that hard work, passion and a heavy dose of fun contribute to a career that has transformed its field. He is a role model to our students.”

In a joint statement, GHS Class of 2013 Officers Brad Kim, James Manganiello, Isa Goldberg and Daniel Wilbanks noted, “The 2013 class officers are extremely excited that Mr. Berman has accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker at our commencement ceremony. His dedication to his profession, contributions to his field and reputation, as well as his dynamic personality make him a great role model for young people. He is sure to provide fresh insights and much inspiration to the Class of 2013.”

In case of inclement weather, the commencement ceremonies will be held indoors in the gymnasium in two groups — students with last names beginning with L-Z will begin at 5 p.m., and students with last names beginning with A-K will begin at 7:15 p.m.

While seating for the outdoor ceremony is unlimited and on a first come, first served basis, each family will receive three tickets for use in case there is an indoor ceremony. There will be a live feed into the GHS Auditorium for guests who do not have a ticket.

As for Greenwich Academy, Ms. Bowen will have a lot the students can relate to when she speaks at their commencement today May 23. A two-time winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her work on Modern Family, Ms. Bowen attended an all-girls school in her youth as well.

GA’s Head of School Molly King said, “We are thrilled to have Ms. Bowen as our speaker. She’s an accomplished actress with a smart sense of humor and a great role model for our girls; parents and students alike are delighted to have her here for graduation.”

There will be full coverage of the Greenwich Academy graduation as well as that of Brunswick School’s in the Post’s May 30 edition.

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