UPDATE: (May 25, 2022) The Offspring’s Dexter Holland has delivered his commencement speech at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. He discussed his love for both music and science and even worked in a pun that tied the two together, ironically referencing the lyric “You’ve gotta keep ’em separated” in the song “Come Out and Play.” Video footage of the speech can be viewed toward the bottom of the page.
In this case, the kids actually ARE alright! In fact, the students at USC’s Keck School of Medicine will be getting some extra words of encouragement later this spring when The Offspring‘s Dexter Holland steps to the mic to deliver the commencement speech for the class of 2022.
Holland will speak to the freshly minted PhD, MPH and MS grad students on May 14, congratulating them on their academic achievements over the course of their education and offering some words of wisdom as they prepare to enter the job market.
“We live in an incredibly exciting time at the crossroads of advanced medical technology and breakthroughs in research,” said Holland. “Recent innovations such as CRISPR gene editing and mRNA technologies have blown the doors open to the possibilities that medical intervention can provide. I am excited to applaud the Keck School of Medicine class of 2022 as they begin their careers during this amazing time.”
While most know Holland from his time in The Offspring, the singer himself has earned three degrees from USC including his PhD in molecular biology, making him a great choice to speak to the new graduates having close ties to the school.
The singer’s education initially included a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Master of Science in molecular biology. But thanks to the band’s career, his pursuit of his PhD took a little longer, finally completing his educational pursuit in 2017.
“Clearly, Dr. Holland has a passion for both music and science” said Peggy Farnham, PhD, vice dean for health and biomedical science education. “I hope that his experiences will demonstrate to our students, and to our community, that science can be an integral part of all lives.”
Holland and The Offspring most recently released their Let the Bad Times Roll album in 2021, featuring the title track, “We Never Have Sex Anymore” and a reworked version of their classic hit “Gone Away.”
In addition to his music and PhD, Holland is also licensed to fly as a pilot and created the Gringo Bandito hot sauce.
“I’ve learned that life isn’t always a straight line from one place to another,” Holland said. “I’ve always believed that education is incredibly important, and my life took me from education, to a career in rock n’ roll, and back to education. Nowadays I’m splitting my time between the two. Finding balance in life is an important lesson for me.”