Columnist David Brooks to serve as UChicago’s first Class Day speaker

New York Times columnist David Brooks, AB’83, will be the invited speaker for UChicago’s first Class Day, addressing graduating students in the College and their families on Friday, June 9.

Class Day is a new celebration being added to Convocation weekend. The gathering features a Class Day speaker in addition to the presentation of College awards and speeches given by students. Brooks is a best-selling author and commentator whose writing explores culture, politics and the social sciences.

The address and the rest of the Class Day gathering are open to family and friends of graduating students as well as the wider University community. The gathering will be held on the University’s Main Quadrangle from 2 to 4 p.m.

“The distinguished speaker for the University’s first Class Day reflects the special nature of this new event, which will be a memorable occasion for students to gather with loved ones and reflect on their time in the College,” said John W. Boyer, dean of the College.

Brooks is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and a regular commentator on the PBS NewsHour, NPR’s All Things Considered and NBC’s Meet the Press. He is the author of such best-selling books as Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, which explores the cultural consequences of the information age, and The Road to Character, which argues for a rebalancing of life to focus on “eulogy virtues” such as honesty and bravery and the kind of relationships formed over a lifetime. Brooks teaches at Yale University, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the University of Chicago’s Board of Trustees.

As a new Convocation tradition, Class Day provides an opportunity for students to celebrate their achievements and look back on their years in the College. Besides the invited speakers, the gathering includes student speakers who are selected annually by their peers and the presentation of College awards.

For more information on Class Day and other changes to Convocation this year, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page. Members of the community and visiting family and friends are advised that there will be street closures around campus, and they should plan routes accordingly. Convocation shuttles can be tracked at

For those unable to attend, Class Day will be webcast live at Follow the day on social media using #uchicago2017.