Jon Stewart to be Class Day speaker

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," has been selected to deliver the keynote address at the Class Day 2004 ceremony on Monday, May 31.

Stewart was selected by leaders of the senior class from among numerous nominees suggested by classmates. In an e-mail to seniors, class president Eli Goldsmith wrote: "Jon Stewart has been regarded as the socio-comedic voice of our generation. We were glued to his show during 'Indecision 2000,' which was launched at the beginning of our freshman year. Mr. Stewart's eloquent words following September 11th touched us deeply during our sophomore year, and most recently, the cleverness with which he continues to cover the war in Iraq and the Democratic presidential race is simply unparalleled."

Goldsmith noted that Stewart has received multiple Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award for his work on "The Daily Show." He also said that Stewart's "dedication to numerous philanthropic efforts relating to Parkinson's, leukemia, cancer and AIDS research epitomize the spirit of humanitarianism that Princeton attempts to nurture in all of its students."

In addition, Goldsmith cited Stewart's local roots and Princeton connections. Stewart grew up in nearby Lawrence Township and his brother Larry is a member of Princeton's class of 1982. In addition, "Daily Show" writer Rob Kutner is a 1994 Princeton graduate.

"Ultimately, Jon Stewart is a hometown kid who is as brilliant as he is uproariously funny," Goldsmith wrote. "Therefore, we feel that Mr. Stewart's speech has the potential to contain a perfect blend of humor, poignancy and Princeton specificity."

Class Day, which takes place on the day before Princeton's Commencement , is organized by members of the graduating class. In addition to Stewart's address, the ceremony will include remarks by class members, the induction of honorary class members and the recognition of class members for their contributions.

The Class Day ceremony will be held on Cannon Green, weather permitting, at 10:30 a.m. It is a ticketed event for seniors and their invited guests, with limited standing room and unticketed simulcast sites available unless severe weather forces the ceremony inside.

Contact: Ruth Stevens (609) 258-3601