Star of ‘Encanto’ To Speak at Hudson Valley College Graduation
We don't talk about Bruno, but he will be speaking at a Hudson Valley commencement ceremony in May.
Vassar College announced this week that John Leguizamo will deliver the address at the school's 158th Commencement. The announcement appears to be a not-so-subtle reaction to the controversy over the college's original speaker who dropped out after protests from the graduating class.
The ruckus started last month after the college announced that Jeh Charles Johnson would be speaking at graduation. Johnson, whose father was a lecturer at the college for 37 years, served as Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama. Students strongly opposed the choice due to Johnson's role in establishing detention centers at the Mexican border in response to an increase in immigrants seeking asylum.
Leguizamo immigrated to the United States from Colombia at the age of four and has been outspoken about the treatment of asylum seekers. He most recently voiced the character of Bruno in Disney's Encanto, which has received rave reviews for its representation of Columbian culture.
It turns out that Leguizamo has some strong connections to Vassar College. Not only did his wife graduate from the school in 1990, but his son, Lucas, is a member of the class of 2023.
The actor says he's very excited about speaking on the Poughkeepsie campus and is already planning his speech, which he wants to be more than just a stand-up routine.
Lucas loves being a student at Vassar, and Justine has such a great love for Vassar, and many of her close friends are her Vassar friends, so it's really special that I'll be speaking at Commencement... I want to be funny, obviously, and I want to give the graduates something to make them feel good about themselves.
Vassar College's 158th Commencement will take place on May 22.