Leonard was invited back to his old high school to deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2015. Weather prevented him and Penny from attending, although Penny arranged for him to deliver it from her apartment by Skype. Leonard began speaking about the value of knowledge, and then realized how boring his speech was. Based upon his own horrid high school experience, he spoke from the heart to the less popular kids, like himself, who out in life would find friends, girlfriends that would find them interesting. He also couldn't help, but show off his beautiful fiancée, Penny.
Headmaster Edwards: And now, for our commencement address, one of our most distinguished alumni, noted Caltech physicist, Doctor Leonard Hofstadter. (Applauds.)
Leonard: Members of the facility, students. I’m excited to speak to you today. I can’t help, but remember the last time I was in that auditorium. Two guys from the lacrosse team played keep away with my asthma inhaler. But enough about my ten year reunion. I’d also like to take a moment to thank my beautiful fiancée for helping to make this speech possible, even though weather nearly prevented it.
Penny: Oh, hello. I didn’t know he was going to point it at me so, don’t do drugs and stay in school.
Leonard: They’re graduates.
Penny: Okay. By-ee!
Leonard: It was L. Frank Baum who said, “No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge.” And that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure. Wow, I’m boring myself. (Sighs.) Sorry I can’t see any of your faces right now, but I bet you they look like this. Uh, you know, I wrote an entire speech to say how high school prepares you and what a wonderful place it is, but I hated it. Maybe high school is great if you look like this (Penny.), but I didn’t even feel like I existed at that school. And now that I think about it, I bet a lot of you feel the same way. So, for the remainder of my speech, this is for the invisible kids. Uh, maybe you never fit in. Or maybe you’re the smallest kid in the school, or the heaviest or the weirdest. Maybe you’re graduating and you still haven’t had your first kiss. By the way, nineteen, and Geraldine Coco, wherever you are, thank you. Maybe you don’t have any friends. And guess what? That’s okay. While all the popular kids are off doing, whatever, I don’t know what they are doing ‘cause I was never there...
Penny: I…I’ll tell you later.
Leonard: My point is, while you’re spending all this time on your own, building computers or practicing the cello, what you’re really doing is becoming interesting. And when finally do notice you, they’re going to find someone a lot cooler than they thought. And for those of you who were popular in high school, it’s over, sorry. Thank you and congratulations. (Applause.)
- On knowledge, Leonard quotes L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz series of books.