New Jersey college hopes to book Danny DeVito as commencement speaker
Students at one New Jersey college are hoping to inject a little star power into their 2017 graduation ceremony with some help from one of the state’s most famous sons.
Students at one New Jersey college are hoping to inject a little star power into their 2017 graduation ceremony with some help from one of the state's most famous sons.
As NJ.com reports, Ramapo College students have started a petition to book Danny DeVito as the speaker for the school's commencement May 2017 ceremony. So far, more than 550 people have signed the petition to bring the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star to the Mahwah, NJ school.
Created by students Nick Perez and James Perlas, the petition notes that DeVito, 72, is someone who "represents a positive future" to students. As a result, the petition reads, DeVito can "influence anybody to think positively as they take the plunge into their next big adventure."
The students added that DeVito's connections to New Jersey and his successful career make him the perfect choice for a commencement speaker.
"Mr. DeVito has always stood at a short stature," the petition reads. "However, he has not let his physical standing dictate the heights he could reach, or the obstacles he could overcome."
The effort has seen some support institutionally, with Ramapo's official Twitter account tweeting the petition to DeVito last week. However, spokesperson Angela Daidone told NJ.com, the school hasn't received a response from DeVito's camp.
As NJ.com points out, the actor is scheduled to begin a Broadway run of Arthur Miller's The Price in February. The play wraps May 7, several days before Ramapo' May 11 commencement ceremony.
DeVito is a Neptune, NJ native who was raised in Asbury Park. He gained fame in the 1970s and '80s beginning with roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Taxi. Later, he appeared in films including Matilda, Batman Returns, and Get Shorty, and has had a prolific career as a director and producer. Currently, he stars as Frank Reynolds in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia; its 12th season starts Jan. 4 on FXX.
Should he accept the gig, however, DeVito will not be the college's first high-profile speaker. Past commencements have featured speakers including NJ Sen. Cory Booker, YouTube star Grace Helbig, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.