'Big Bang Theory' star Kunal Nayyar to speak in Chiles on Wednesday

The former Pilot hasn't been back to The Bluff since 2011

By Courtney Warta | October 10, 2017 5:19pm

UP Alumnus Kunal Nayyar now stars in the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" and will be on campus on Wednesday to share his experiences with students.
by The Beacon / The Beacon

“The Big Bang Theory” star Kunal Nayyar will step onto University of Portland’s campus on Wednesday, Oct. 11 for the first time since 2011, to give a talk in the Chiles Center about his career, life and time at the school followed by a question and answer session. 

Nayyar’s appearance in the Chiles Center will be open to the community, and although tickets are not needed, event organizers advise attendees to RSVP via Facebook, and get there early to secure a seat. The event will begin at 5 p.m.

“You should plan to get there a little early to get a good seat. Just show up, go inside, sit down and enjoy,” said Director of Major Gifts, Nicole Rinetti-Clawson.

“The Big Bang Theory” star graduated from University of Portland in 2003 with a business degree, and continued onto Temple University to pursue acting before he landed the role of Rajesh Koothrappali in the CBS sitcom.

Before the talk, Nayyar will be shown the modifications around campus and be reunited with some of his former professors. 

Mindi Logan, Director of Acting and Nayyar’s professor throughout all four years has not seen him since his last visit to UP. 

“But we text and email on a fairly regular basis, especially if something exciting happens,” Logan said. 

To make the event more intimate and personal Logan and Larry Larsen, chair of Performing and Fine Arts and former professor will be asking Nayyar questions. Organizers expect that laughs will be shared as the three reminisce on past times.

“Just silly things I might tease him about just a little bit,” Logan said about the interview questions. “At his graduation I met his parents. I was a little nervous. ‘Oh god they’re going to kill me.’ They wanted a business man and I give them an actor.” 

Although not many Pilots are still around from Nayyar’s days on The Bluff, campus seems to be full of people excited for Nayyar’s return. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Facebook event indicated that 370 people have confirmed their attendance, and 297 are interested. 

“The fact that he is an alum and he’s open to coming back is pretty incredible,” said Rinetti-Clawson. “These are people that impacted his life in a positive way and that’s what makes University of Portland so special.”