Find out what Sterling K. Brown said about being Commencement speaker

Popular actor and Stanford alumnus STERLING K. BROWN reported that serving as the speaker for the university’s upcoming Commencement on June 17 is “probably the thing” he is most nervous about.

Sterling K. Brown
Sterling K. Brown

“You got a group of 22-year-old kids who are about to go out into the world and you just want to make sure you leave them with something important that they can value and treasure,” he said. “I just hope to give them something to talk about.”

That’s what Brown told late-night host Jimmy Fallon during a recent appearance on the Tonight Show. Brown called serving as Commencement speaker a “huge” honor.

See the clip of his appearance on the Tonight Show website.

“I went to Stanford,” he said. “I had four of the best years of my life there.”

Brown said he found out about his admission on his birthday, April 5, in 1994.

“I saw the envelope, and it was a big envelope. You open it up, and all over the folder it says, ‘Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations.’”

Brown said he applied to just five schools after graduating from a college preparatory school in St. Louis. He told Fallon that he sought “either sunshine or black people” at whatever college he chose.

“Visiting Stanford University, I realized ‘Oh, they have both.’ That worked for me.”

Brown recently made history by becoming the first African American to win both the Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic TV series. He is among the stars of the popular TV series This Is Us and was featured in the movie Black Panther.

Brown is married to a fellow alum, actress RYAN MICHELLE BATHE, whom he met at Stanford while the two were working on stage productions. They recently returned to Stanford to perform scenes from August Wilson’s plays and to talk to students.