Will Ferrell Embraces Whitney Houston Hit During USC Commencement Speech

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Who knew funny man Will Ferrell was also a smart college graduate from USC?

The actor, a 1990 grad, delivered the commencement speech for the University of Southern California’s Class of 2017 on Friday and closed out his remarks in grand style.

Ferrell serenaded the new Trojan graduates with a rendition of Whitney Houston’s take on “I Will Always Love You.”

Although his speech was brilliant Will Ferrell humor, it also was inspiring and peppered with some wonderful, sensible advice for his alma mater’s graduating class. Ferrell was also quite pleased to receive an honorary doctorate degree from USC.The actor’s 25-minute commencement speech took his young audience on a journey from Ferrell’s humble beginnings as a USC frosh in 1986 to graduating in 1990 and moving back into his mother’s Irvine, California home to flirting with becoming a sports anchor to Saturday Night Live fame and on to major movie success.

During his hilarious remarks, Ferrell talked about his own years at USC, recounting the time he met a wonderful professor through a friend of his. Ferrell would crash the instructor’s class, pretending to be a janitor and crack up the students. The professor happened to be Ronald Gottesman, who had co-edited the famous Norton’s Anthology of American Literature.

Professor Gottesman was highly amused by Ferrell’s antics and invited him to interrupt the lectures again and again. He told Ferrell he found him very funny, and it was this professor’s encouragement that inspired Ferrell that he could be silly and entertain large groups of people.

Ferrell told his fellow Trojans that it’s okay not to have a real plan upon graduation because he didn’t create one either:

“To those of you graduates sitting out there who have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to do with your life, congratulations,” he said. “For many of you who maybe don’t have it all figured out, it’s okay. That’s the same chair that I sat in. Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result.”

The talented actor closed out his speech, reminding the graduates that they will never be alone on whatever path they choose because of the support of the large Trojan family.

Then Will Ferrell gently sang a modified verse from the smash The Bodyguard.

“I will always love you, Class of 2017.”

Thunderous applause followed.

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