“Goosebumps” series author R. L. Stine encouraged Ohio State graduates to grab every opportunity that presents itself in life during his address at the 2013 OSU Autumn Commencement ceremony Sunday. Stine also told graduates not to take themselves too seriously and spoke of the criticism he has received from readers, as well as the odd jobs he took on his road to success.
“Just say yes. Say yes to everything,” Stine, an OSU alumnus and Bexley native, said in his address.
More than 3,200 students received degrees, and about 2,400 walked at commencement, held at the Schottenstein Center, said Vice President for OSU Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston.
In a speech studded with anecdotes, Stine also advised graduates on what he has found to be important.
“Keep your sense of humor,” Stine said. “You really need it, not just when you’re starting out, but even later.”
He said a sense of humor is key because of the unpredictable nature of life.
“Frankly, no one knows how this is going to work out for you,” Stine said. “There are so many moments when the wind changes and something completely unexpected happens, and all of your planning and all your figuring isn’t the whole picture.”
Interim OSU President Joseph A. Alutto also addressed the new graduates, reminding them that while they’re no longer OSU students, they will always be Buckeyes.
“In this one ceremony we celebrate one extraordinary university and one Ohio State family,” Alutto said. “Wherever you go, whatever you do, Ohio State will always be a part of you.”
Alutto also asked the graduates to maintain ties with their alma mater.
“Ohio State will always be privileged to welcome you home,” Alutto said.
Some OSU graduates thought Stine’s speech was fit for the occasion.
Jamie Hay, who graduated with a degree in communication, said while she was initially skeptical of the speaker choice, she was pleasantly surprised.
“(Stine) was funny and poised, and he kept the audience engaged,” Hay said. “(The speech) blew me away. It was amazing.”
Others said the whole ceremony went by quickly.
“For the size, it was a lot better than I expected. It was still long, though,” said Justin Macaulay, who graduated with a degree in economics.
Macaulay said Stine was a good speaker because he was funny.
“He brought some humor, which I really appreciated. Older guys like that have a different sense of humor,” Macaulay said. “He did really well.”
Others were also recognized at the ceremony: Ellen Mosley-Thompson, a professor of geography and director of OSU’s Byrd Polar Research Center, and Lonnie Thompson, professor of earth sciences and senior research scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center, received the Joseph Sullivant Medal for their research in paleoclimatology, which is a science that studies the climate of past ages.
The medal, according to an OSU College of Arts and Sciences release, is granted every five years to recognize people for notable achievements, including inventions or discoveries.
Listen to an audio recording of R.L. Stine’s commencement address here: