President Henry Cotton’s Redacted Willard College Commencement Address


[The following is Dr. Cotton’s 2014 Commencement Address. The speech, which is the exclusive property of Willard College and may not be reproduced without prior permission, has been redacted because of copyright and liability considerations. Questions concerning this should be directed to Trumbull Schtark, legal counsel to Willard College]

Welcome Board of Trustees, Deans, Associate Deans, Students, their Families, [                      ,                 ], Faculty, Staff, and Security Personnel, and [                        ]. And thanks to everyone who made the Triumph of the Will Commencement exercises such an exciting way to end the academic year. Have all the bonfires been put out?

Willard College has always been about more than an education in the traditional books and papers sense of the word. Your four to seven years here have been about relationships. From the moment you had to learn the names of the three bunk mates, plus the additional 10-14 room-mates so you could develop a rotation system for using the bathroom, you have been building and nurturing relationships. But relationships sometimes end, so I hope one that ends for you will not be the one with Willard College

But speaking of relationships ending, this seems like an apt moment to announce that Cheryl Tina Faye Cotton, my wife of six years, has filed papers to divorce me. It is not of small consequence that her legal request coincides with the move of Provost Gauleiter to Sylvester University, as the now-former provost had been my wife’s lover for the past five years. This according to Professor [                                 ] and the [                                                       ]. I wish both of them the best in the future life together.  [                                  ]

This morning, you emptied your dorm room, and perhaps after you had packed up the car or minivan, you went back to take one last look at the room that holds all those memories. I know how you feel. When I got back from a fundraising trip to [                    ] last night, I opened the door to an empty house. Other than the divorce papers, a mattress, a kitty litter box, [             ]and six garbage bags filled with my clothes, the house is empty. This morning, I realized that even the window treatments are gone! Life will throw you curve balls.

Attending Willard College came with a financial commitment, one that you are now about to start paying for. At last estimate, [      ]% of Willard’s graduating class owe the equivalent of what they will earn in [                ] year[ ], assuming they can find [                  ]. I feel it. During the last four years, Cheryl Tina Faye had steadily moved [    ]% of our savings and assets into off-shore accounts in her name, thanks in part to a class project sponsored by Professor [                    ] of the Department of Economics right here at Willard College! Kudos, by the way, to following students who worked on the project: [                        ,      ,   ,                                                                                                                                                          ].

The oldest joke in the commencement circuit is “get ready to move back to Mom and Dad’s basements, assuming they still own a house, haven’t gotten divorced, or aren’t renting out all of the rooms.” I am with you. I’ve got to be out of Cheryl Tina Fay and Provost Gauleiter’s house by tomorrow morning at Noon. Back to taping “Stay away from my cheese sticks.” It is all good.

My advice, after decades of work in higher education? Tape your name to your cheese sticks, check your bank statements every week, and watch your back. Now go out there Class of 2014 and be the change you want to be!

11 thoughts on “President Henry Cotton’s Redacted Willard College Commencement Address

  1. Brilliant!!!


  2. Best commencement speech ever!

  3. Dear Dr. Hertz, Can I schedule three appointments for the coming week? I like the morning sessions as I find my thinking is clearer, unless I take those sleeping pills you recommended. I’m pretty sure Cheryl Tina Fey was not able to get into the medical savings account, so I should be able to cover the sessions. Henry

  4. Cheryl Tina Fay

    My lawyer said I shouldn’t contact you directly – but I feel like this is sort of a crisis and I knew you would agree. Things are not exactly working out as planned. Foremost, our beloved Bootsy won’t use her new litter box (The vet thinks she might be having anxiety because of all the changes so we have her on kitty Prozac). I’ll need to pick up the old litter box today (sorry I didn’t clean it before I left- could you please do it before I come by. It would be great if you could disinfect it too!).

    You’ve been so great about everything Hank, Sorry about the money!
    Cheryl Tina Fay

    • Cheryl Tina Fay, So, you are already changing how you spell your name? I would disinfect it but 1) you took all the cleaners and 2) my cash card doesn’t work. If you could drop off a pair of sheets, that would be good. Also, if you could bring back a dorm fridge, that would help. Love, Hank

  5. Cheryl Tina Fay

    You sound angry – and although I certainly understand – we need to be mature about this, put aside our personal differences, and think of Bootsy’s wellbeing. She is an innocent victim and should not suffer anymore. To be absolutely truthful, your insistence that Bootsy be subject to the veterinary dental lab in the new Vet Tech Dental Assistant Associate Degree Program was not completely unrelated to my change in feeling towards you.

    I’ve already sent all the polyester blend sheet sets to the Salvation Army, and for obvious reasons (that will be described in more detail by my lawyer) I can’t be expected to part, even temporarily, with any of the remaining 4000 thread count sets.

    I understand that it may be hard to access you money right now- so I can’t expect you to disinfect the litter box. Just leave it in a garbage bag and I’ll a have my driver put it in the truck.


  6. […] know, I have experienced some profound regrowth following my recent and very public split with  Cheryl Tina Faye. This year’s retreat, hosted by Namaste, Inc., reflects the spiritual work that I have […]

  7. […] scandal that accompanied the related and very public impending divorce from your future ex-wife, Cheryl Tina Faye Cotton, the Board of Trustees, in their great wisdom, appointed me to this position. It is clear from my […]

  8. […] Cheryl Tina Faye Cotton has returned to Willard College following a brief interlude at Sylvester University. While away, […]

  9. […] College Commencement Experience: The Address! It will be hard to live up to last year’s Commencement, won’t it? But, first some business. If the tear gas is causing your eyes to become […]

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