Actor Ed Helms urges Cornell University graduates to ‘be a fool’

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ITHACA, N.Y. – Actor Ed Helms “came home” to Cornell University today as the featured speaker at this year’s Convocation Ceremony, urging members of the Class of 2014 to “remember to be a fool.”

A fool is by definition a person who lacks good sense and judgment, but I am here to tell you that good sense and judgment are highly overrated,” said Helms, who played fictional Cornell graduate Andy Bernard on “The Office.” “Wisdom is too often just a fancy word for cynicism, and foolishness is a condescending word for joy, wonder and curiosity.”

Helms was named by the NPR education blog as one of the 25 most promising graduation speakers on 2014. His 2014 Convocation Address at Cornell is available online at

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