Author, humorist to deliver fall commencement

Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry will address 750 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students at the University of Miami’s Fall Commencement. The event will take place on Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. at the BankUnited Center.

Barry wrote a weekly humor column during his 20-plus years at “The Miami Herald” that was syndicated in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad, according to his online biography.

While he has retired from that column, he continues to write several times a year, such as his year in review and annual holiday gift guide – the latter of which appears in Sunday’s Herald. He also writes a blog on

Barry is the author of more than two dozen books, such as “Dave Barry’s Guide to Life” and “Dave Barry is NOT Making This Up”. His first novel, “Big Trouble”, was released as a full-length feature film in 2002.

He is also the lead guitarist for the Rock Bottom Remainders, a “literary rock band” whose members include, among others, Stephen King, Amy Tan and Mitch Albom.

A CBS sitcom loosely based on Barry’s life as a humor columnist, called “Dave’s World,” ran for four seasons from 1993 to 1997 and starred Harry Anderson.

Barry last spoke at UM by introducing Firefox co-creator Blake Ross at a School of Education event in October.

In a phone interview with The Hurricane, he said he the last time he gave a commencement speech at UM was for the medical school in the 1980s.

But much has changed since then, and this event will be streamed live over Internet.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been streamed over the web,” Barry said. “It’s an honor to be streamed. A lot of great speakers never got streamed. Abraham Lincoln never got streamed.”

Barry said that President Donna E. Shalala asked him to speak at the event, adding jokingly: “If Donna Shalala tells me to do something, I do it.”

In his remarks two decades ago, Barry recalled warning the graduating medical students that lawyers are the enemy.

“If I were to speak to the Law School I’d tell them doctors are the enemy,” Barry said in jest.

The UM School of Law graduation ceremony will host a separate ceremony on Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Miami.

For more information about the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral commencement, visit or call 305-284-6798. For the law school commencement, visit

Greg Linch may be contacted at