Brad Delson, guitarist for Linkin Park, will be the commencement speaker for UCLA College of Letters and Sciences’ class of 2009, replacing actor James Franco (Pineapple Express, Milk) who recently dropped out with 10 days left until graduation.
Publicists for the actor have insisted that Franco dropped out due to filming commitments in Ireland, not because of the controversy due to the the student protests against having the actor as a speaker. Erin Moore, who started the Facebook group campaigning against Franco as a speaker because of his lack of experience and established career, has stated that she is not entirely pleased with the choice of Delson, but she added that his charity work has made him a better choice, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Delson, who graduated summa cum laude from the school with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies in 1999. The guitarist is actively involved in the student community through the Delson Scholarship Fund,which awards four-year scholarships to selected incoming UCLA freshman from Huntington Park, California.
He will join this year’s commencement speakers, including director and screenwriter Oliver Stone (W., Natural Born Killers) for UCLA Theater, Film and Television school, Anne Sweeny, co-chair of Disney Media Networks, for UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ariana Huffington from the Huffington Post for UCLA School of Public Affairs, among others.