Provided photo

ITHACA, N.Y. – Bill Nye the Science Guy will speak at Cornell’s 2019 Senior Convocation, the selection committee announced Thursday.

Nye, who graduated from Cornell in the class of 1977 with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, is known to millions for his PBS series “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” which brought science education to the masses with a mix of humor and zany experiments.

As part of a lifelong project to foster scientific literacy, he has authored multiple best-selling books, including “Undeniable,” an approachable take on evolution, and “Unstoppable,” a call to action to curb climate change.

He co-chaired the inaugural March for Science, which brought rallies and marches to Washington, D.C., and 600 cities worldwide on Earth Day 2017.

Nye currently appears on the Netflix series “Bill Nye Saves the World” and serves as the CEO of The Planetary Society, a space-interest group founded by the late Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan.

Nye has returned to Cornell regularly since his graduation, according to a press release from the university. He served as a Frank H. T. Rhodes Visiting Professor from 2001-5, and in 2011 he designed and funded the clock at the top of Rhodes Hall, a portion of which glows for several minutes each day when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky at solar noon. He spoke about his family’s history and his interest in sundials at Cornell’s Sesquicentennial celebration in 2015.

Earlier in his career, Nye split his time between a day job as a Boeing engineer and evening stand-up comedy gigs. He first found a way to blend the two interests while writing for the Seattle comedy show “Almost Live,” where he debuted the character Bill Nye the Science Guy.

The announcement that Nye will speak at this year’s graduation comes after a tumultuous selection process. The Cornell Sun previously reported that comedian Hasan Minhaj dropped out from speaking just before the committee was expected to go public with his selection.

The Senior Convocation will take place at 12:30 p.m on Saturday, May 25 at Schoellkopf Field. Tickets are not required to attend.

Featured image: Bill Nye (provided photo)

Devon Magliozzi

Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at or 607-391-0328.