Jim Carrey gave the commencement address to Maharishi International University’s class of 2014. The University Board of Trustees also presented Mr. Carrey with the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa, in recognition of his significant lifetime achievements as a world-renown comedian and actor, artist, author and philanthropist.
Maharishi International University granted degrees to 285 students representing 54 countries — 62 bachelor’s, 219 master’s, and 4 doctoral degrees. Over half of the graduate students, 126, received an MS in Computer Science.
Many students and their families attended the ceremony, Saturday, May 24, in the Golden Dome on the MIU campus. Over 1000 people filled the beautiful building. The event was also livestreamed to overflow crowds in the Argiro Student Center.
Jim Carrey gave an inspiring, funny, and enlightening talk. He started with some locally related jokes, which drew approving applause and a lot of laughter. He inspired the students to think big and not give in to fear, but to choose love. Many said it was the best commencement talk ever.
During the commencement Mr. Carrey unveiled a very large biographical painting to illustrate part of his talk. The room was darkened and when black light was shone on the painting it highlighted brilliant florescent colors. (See attached photos.)
Carrey also shared personal stories about his childhood. He said his father could have been a comedian but chose to be an accountant because he wanted a stable job.
Carrey’s father later lost his job, which taught Carrey an important lesson, he said.
“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love,” Carrey said.
As a result, the young Jim Carrey discovered what his mission in life would be — to free people from their concern. His comedic antics have spread laughter and happiness around the world bringing joy to millions.
Jim Carrey met with students in the David Lynch MA in Film for a lively Q & A session the day before. He has also actively supports the David Lynch Foundation campaign to bring the Transcendental Meditation technique to at-risk young people, veterans with PTSD, and women and children who are survivors of domestic abuse.
- In 2013, Mr. Carrey released a children’s book, How Roland Rolls, which presents the classical wisdom of Vedanta and received the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award.
- Mr. Carrey is also a celebrated painter and sculptor. He won rave reviews from critics at his debut art exhibit, Nothing To See Here, in Palm Desert in 2011.
- In 2005, Mr. Carrey founded The Better U Foundation, which addresses global food security and helps rice farmers earn a better living for their families by supporting the System of Rice Intensification.
- Over the course of his career, Mr. Carrey has been recognized numerous times by the MTV Movie Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
- He won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, for the title role in Peter Weir’s The Truman Show. He won his second Golden Globe, for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, for his portrayal of comedian Andy Kaufman in Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon.
- Other film credits include I Love You Phillip Morris, Yes Man, Bruce Almighty, Liar, Liar, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, for which he received Golden Globes and BAFTA Award nominations for best actor in 2004.