PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Actor Kunal Nayyar, who graduated from the University of Portland, was the commencement speaker at UP’s first in-person graduation since the pandemic began.

The Big Bang Theory star, who graduated from UP in 2003, delivered the commencement address at the university’s graduation for the Class of 2022. He also received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters just before he delivered his speech.

He kept things light in the early part of his speech, joking that his wife was going to have to call him “Doctor” from now on, that all it takes to become a commencement speaker is a large Instagram following, and saying the graduation robe was really itchy.

“I thought this was like a kilt,” he said. “I didn’t even want to wear underwear.” As the audience laughed, Nayyar did, too, and pointed at the Sign Language interpreter. “Look,” he said, laughing. “She doesn’t even want to sign that.”

Watch: University of Portland commencement, May 1, 2022

UP held virtual commencement ceremonies instead of in-person gatherings in 2020 and 2021.

Nayyar acted in UP theatre productions while studying for a bachelor’s in business administration. Now, he and his wife fund scholarships for the university’s students in performing and fine arts.

Kunal Nayyar, who graduated from the University of Portland in 2003 and then starred in the ‘Big Bang Theory,’ was the commencement speaker at their graduation. He also received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, May 1, 2022 (UP)

Sunday’s indoor event started at 10 a.m. for graduates from the Pamplin School of Business and Shiley School of Engineering, and continued at 2 p.m. for graduates from the College of Arts & Sciences and School of Education.

After the pandemic, protests, insurrection, wildfires and record heat waves, the Class of ’22 realized reaching the finish line was even more impressive to do.

“We’ve been forced to be the most flexible of generations,” said Class of ’22 speaker Grace Adam. “Maybe we collectively spent hundreds of thousands of hours on TikTok over the past two years, but we’ve also learned how to take things day by day in this unpredictable world which we live in.”