Alumnus White To Address Graduates of the Class of
Mike White poses with Jennifer
Aniston at the Sundance Film Festival in
January 2001 while they celebrate the
release of their film "The Good Girl."
(Photo by Jeff Vespa / Wire Image
Commencement for senior class will include speech
by one of Poly's most famous alumni.
By Lisa Hirschmann
Poly alumnus and prominent screenwriter Mike
White will speak at the Upper School graduation
ceremony on June 10. He will mainly address his
experience at Poly and what he gained from it.
White grew up in Pasadena and attended Poly for
After graduating from Poly in 1988, White
attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut before
moving to Los Angeles to begin a career as a
screenwriter. He began writing for the teenage
television drama series "Dawson's Creek" and worked
with a team of writers on his first film, "Dead Man
on Campus," released in 1998, a story about two
college students who try to get their roommate to
commit suicide so that they can get straight
White also wrote for the teenage television
series "Freaks and Geeks" in 1999. His breakthrough
film was 2000's "Chuck and Buck," which he wrote
and starred in. White played Buck O'Brien, an
immature 27-year-old who becomes obsessed with his
childhood best friend. White received an award at
the 2000 Deauville Film Festival for Best Male
Performance and was nominated for an American
Spirit Award for the film.
In 2001, he wrote and produced the short-lived
soap opera "Pasadena." His comedy "Orange County"
was released in 2002. He played a small supporting
role in the film about a high school student who is
rejected from Stanford because his college
counselor sends the university the wrong
Also in 2002, the movie "The Good Girl,"
starring Jennifer Aniston and written by White, hit
the big screen. White played a security guard in
the story of a retail-store employee trying to
escape the monotony and isolation of her life. He
won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
for the film.
During a telephone interview, White commented on
returning to Poly, "It's both a nightmare I have
had over the years and something I know I'd be a
wimp to pass up."
He continued, "Poly was my childhood, my young
adulthood, and it's hard to separate Poly from my
whole growing-up period. I have strong feelings,
both positive and negative, about coming back. Poly
was beyond just an educational experience, kind of
like a third parent."
While at Poly, White participated in numerous
theatrical productions. In Upper School, he played
Sir Evelyn Oakleigh in "Anything Goes" and Sir
Edward Ramsey in "The King and I."
The graduation ceremony will be held at 5 p.m.
on Babcock Field. Head of School Deborah Reed and
Upper School Director Grace Hamilton will also
speak. In addition, Senior Class President Evan
Stone will speak and Senior Allan Fox will perform
on the piano. The Upper School Honors Day ceremony
will be held prior to graduation at 9 a.m.
Other senior class commencement events include
Senior Projects Night on May 31. The senior class
will leave on June 1 for its class trip to
Kernville, California, where it will go white-water
rafting until June 5. On June 7, the class will
have the traditional Senior Picnic.
For Grad Night on June 10, the Senior Class will
eat dinner at the Caltech Athenaeum. A disc jockey
will provide music for a class dance following the
BENNETT/The Paw Print
David Gorss and sophomore Kylie Robbins
enjoy themselves before the prom, themed
"Dancing in the Moonlight," on Saturday,
May 17 at the Los Angeles Athletic
BENNETT/The Paw Print
Katelyn Kuwata and Katie Pomerantz show
off their dresses at prom.
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