Past commencement speakers have included journalist Christiane Amanpour (2012), record and film producer Jimmy Iovine (2013), SalesForce CEO Marc Benioff (2014), Dreamworks Animation chairwoman Mellody Hobson (2015) and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (2016).
Although Ferrell is best known for his blockbuster successes such as Elf, Step Brothers, and Anchorman, he graduated from USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism in 1990 with a degree in sports information.
Ferrell was a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2011. He followed an esteemed list of recipients that puts him in the top echelon of comedians: Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Neil Simon and Carol Burnett.
He has also supports Cancer for College, a philanthropy that helps cancer survivors attend college.
Since graduating from Annenberg, he has stayed connected to USC. Ferrell hosted the USC SCA 75th Anniversary Gala, participated in Swim With Mike for the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund in 2007 and led the USC Trojan Marching Band dressed as the Trojan in 2013.
Communications major Pixie McLaughlin said she thought it was interesting that students pay nearly half a million dollars for a first-class education, yet they'll be hearing a comedian speak at their commencement.
"But he is one of the most enthusiastic members of the Trojan Family," McLaughlin added.
Senior engineering major Joseph Powell said he appreciates such a big star coming to campus.
"He's one of the best comedians of all time and he's an alum," Powell said. "To have him be our commencement speaker is a pretty big deal."