Counting down to Saturday, Gerds flashes back to last year’s remarkable address

With another December commencement just days away, WFRV, Channel 5 Critic-at-Large Warren Gerds flashed back Wednesday (Dec. 11) to graduation one year ago, when alumnus Frederick “Doc” Heide took the stage in what turned out to be a somewhat remarkable appearance.

As Log readers may know, commencement speaker Heide gave the address despite having had an emergency appendectomy just days before the big event. But he went on anyway, sharing wit and wisdom in a crowd-pleaser of an address that belied his condition leading up to (and even after) graduation day.

Gerds’ connection, of course, is that Heide ’74 is co-founder of Door County’s American Folklore Theatre, where he has written and performed hit musicals (when not hard at work as an associate professor of psychology, that is). “Of course, when you’re in the hospital, you’re not eating all week, you’re just being given fluids intravenously,” Heide told Gerds. “So it was not really the way I wanted to prepare for the speech — in a hospital bed trying to memorize this thing without any food in my stomach. But it was such an extraordinary privilege. I feel really honored.”

Great (if at times painful to read) story, click here.

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