In the 279 episodes of The Big Bang Theory, the figure of Koothrapali was fundamental in the dynamics of the series and matched the rest of the protagonists who had great academic achievements and that now in real life, Kunal Nayyar has been able to receive this honor, it’s a nice match for any actor.
During the 279 episodes in which the actor, Kunal Nayyar played Raj Koothrappali in the successful CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, the desire to excel, the healthy and sometimes not so healthy competition among his fellow scientists was always present. so it’s no surprise that he’s now been chosen to deliver the solemn address at the University of Portland’s first in-person commencement ceremony since 2019 because of the pandemic.
Nayyar is a graduate of the same university in 2003, where he obtained a degree in business administration and then, four years later, he got his leading role in The Big Bang Theory, so in his graduation speech, he highlighted various aspects of his life that relate him to the character he played for so many years. He started with a joke that references an episode of the series; saying that, from now on, his wife would have to call him “Doctor”. “It’s often said, ‘Find your purpose so you can live a meaningful life,’ but why not live a meaningful life and then find your purpose?”
“The more you know yourself, the more you begin to see the world as it really is, not as you think it should be, because all of us are trying to fit this infinite universe into a finite understanding,” he said. “We are trying to mold the world into this little box so that we can control it. But I think in order to be cheerful, light, peaceful, (Like Raj) it can be useful to loosen the control you have over this world a bit. Do your thing. Let the universe do its thing too, because nothing lasts forever.”
According to local press reports, Nayyar, who acted in several functions while in school, used part of his wealth collected in the 12 years he was in the program, to finance scholarships for UP students in Interpretation and Fine Arts. Nayyar and his wife also fund UP’s annual trip to the American College Theater Festival.
Nayyar celebrated this very special moment through his Instagram account, where he shared a photo of Raj along with a photo of himself at the graduation ceremony for his newly certified Ph.D. “I never thought that after playing Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali for 12 years, he would be honored with a Ph.D. in real life.” Nayyar went on to thank the University of Portland “for the honor of Doctor of Humane Letters.” He concluded the caption on a humorous note, joking about Koothrapali, “Oh, and now you can call me Dr. Kunal, I won’t mind ;)”.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that while his Big Bang Theory character, Rajesh Koothrappali, had a Ph. a leading role.