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In their lively and entertaining weekly discussion of issues related to higher education, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the topics of higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. Ed and Jennifer practice what they preach, too, by introducing math puzzlers and brain teasers to keep listeners on their toes.

Higher Ed: Pomp And Commencement Speeches

Commencement speeches: Some are boring and not very memorable; some are inspiring and stay with graduates for years to comes. During this 2018 commencement season, Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I spend the episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed" discussing the good, the bad and the memorable from commencement addresses.

Southwestern University's 2018 commencement speaker is Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton. She grew up in Little Rock, Ark., and was a member of the second class of African-American students entering Little Rock Central High School in 1959. Ed says he's excited for the graduating seniors to hear Hampton's inspiring story.

In this episode, Ed and I recall some words of wisdom that have really made impact and some commencement addresses that were less-than-memorable. Ed also reflects on what he considers one of the most amazing graduation speeches he has ever heard. What made it so good? Listen to the full episode to find out and to get the solution to the most recent puzzler about math lovers who know how to party.

This episode was recorded on April 20, 2018.

For all of the Higher Ed episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.

Jennifer Stayton is the local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @jenstayton.