Campus Life

Acclaimed author PJ O’Rourke speaks at commencement

Acclaimed political satirist and author of six best-selling books, PJ O’Rourke spoke for both the undergraduate and graduate University of West Florida (UWF) Commencement ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., May 5, at the Pensacola Civic Center.

O’Rourke also received an honorary doctorate degree, the Doctor of Humane Letters, for his many cultural contributions to UWF and beyond.

In 2008, O’Rourke was the Jerry Maygarden Distinguished Public Service Lecturer at UWF. In 2010, he served as the inaugural Writer in Residence, during which time he spent a week offering public lectures, delivering different lectures in three separate disciplines and providing writing feedback to students participating in the series.

O’Rouke has published 18 books to date and appears regularly on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” He received an undergraduate degree from Miami University in Ohio and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

“PJ O’Rourke’s contributions to the culture are legendary,” said Jane Halonen, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at UWF who also nominated O’Rourke for the honorary doctorate degree. “His wry observations about contemporary life shed light on who we are as humans in a world of growing complexity. We are so fortunate that he is such a strong admirer of our students and academic program. The honorary degree is the right way to express UWF’s appreciation for his many contributions to us and to the literary world.”