Despite the hype and controversy surrounding the Jamie Dimon commencement speech at Syracuse University's 2010 graduation, no one really knew what to expect. A week before the speech, it was publicized by the Daily Orange that protesters would disrobe and take off their caps right before Dimon's speech. And that happened, except only about 10 angry students stayed true to their word.
The Dimon controversy was a bust, but not without some entertaining moments after Dimon finished his speech. Deep boos bellowed for a couple seconds and then all of a sudden, students everywhere looked to the middle of the Carrier Dome football field. Half a dozen beach balls bounced in the air above a crowd of students. Parents in the bleachers howled, and it wasn't even the beach balls drawing the most attention, it was another inflatable device -- a blow up sex doll.
The sex doll body-surfed over dozens of students before orange-draped ushers raced to track it down. The ushers swarmed around the middle section of the students, trying their best, in their baggy orange gowns, to catch the bouncing balls and floating sex doll. Students laughed and cheered, but some of the students responsible for the the commotion were escorted off the field. According to eyes in the stands, at least five students were kicked out of the ceremony. There's no evidence to say that the blow up doll had anything to do with the Take Back Commencement group.
While Chancellor Nancy Cantor praised Dimon's accomplishments, students everywhere scanned the entire football field to see who would disrobe, but after all, there wasn't much to see. A little less than a dozen scattered bodies stood up and took off their caps and gowns before Dimon started speaking, and they did it with serious faces. Spectating students looked baffled and confused during the demonstration.
The "disrobe" plan started as a Facebook group, organized by the leading protest group, Take Back Commencement. However, only 44 Facebook users joined the group, so it shouldn't be a huge surprise that the protest didn't really live up to its billing.
In his speech, the JPMorgan CEO addressed the protest and used it as the base for his core message: be accountable and responsible. He said everyone should be accountable, including himself.
Aside from the small stunts, the crowd applauded Dimon, and twice he had to stop speaking to wait for the crowd to stop clapping. Afterward, most students and parents seemed pleased with Dimon's words.