Schwimmer, Gasteyer to open new Alumni Speaker Series

Andrea Damewood

Two stars of NBC comedies will kick off Associated Student Government’s new Alumni Speaker Series next month, ASG Campus Public Relations Chairman Joel Richlin announced Friday.

David Schwimmer, who plays paleontology Prof. Ross Geller on the TV series “Friends,” and Ana Gasteyer, who lampooned pop icon Celine Dion and other stars on Saturday Night Live, will share their memories of Northwestern when they visit campus in early May.

Schwimmer will speak at NU on May 5, and Gasteyer will take the stage May 19. Both speeches are free and will be at 7:30 p.m. at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

Students can get tickets to Schwimmer’s show starting Monday morning at the Norris University Center Box Office, and tickets for Gasteyer will be available beginning May 12. Two tickets per WildCARD can be purchased.

The speaker series is intended “to showcase famous NU alumni and make people proud to go to NU,” Richlin said. The Office of the Provost is funding the program, which is co-sponsored by ASG, Arts Alliance and A&O Productions. The program was one of the main objectives of former ASG President Rachel Lopez.

Schwimmer, Communication ’88, is slated to share his college memories.

A former member of Willard Residential College, Schwimmer, like the rest of the “Friends” cast, has a cult following — especially at NU.

“I’m a fan of Ross, he’s a really funny character,” said Yolanda Hare, a Communications sophomore. “Most famous people don’t feel an attachment to the place they’re from, so I think the fact that he’s coming back is awesome.”

Gasteyer, Communication ’89, will speak about women in comedy. A former Mee-Ow Show cast member, she also will give a short performance with the improv troupe.

The actress’ antics on Saturday Night Live made many students excited for her visit. Meredith Nolan, an Education junior, praised Gasteyer not only for her persona, but also for her technical abilities.

“Just the way she uses her voice to really establish her character is great,” Nolan said.

Although Schwimmer and Gasteyer took similar paths after graduation, having two major names in television comedy agree to come during the same quarter was a coincidence, Richlin said.

“(The ASG Public Relations Committee) did a lot of research into famous alumni,” Richlin said. “We had a list of at least 10 alumni, and they both happened to be available at this time. It worked out really well.”

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David Schwimmer

7:30 p.m., May 5

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

What: First of the Alumni Speaker Series

Tickets: Free, available at the Norris University Center Box Office