2nd Place in Derby #359: Metamorphosis, with 229 votes!
Melser University's announcement of their graduation speaker - esteemed alumnus, Herbert Therman - was met with much discomfort.
Therman had, upon graduating himself, started a very successful company. They produced a special extra comfortable gel-grip that fit onto the handles of most lawn-mower's and weed-sacker's pull-cord starters. "You want to shred your lawn, not your palms," their ads said.
After ten years of profitable business, he decided to sell, and with the money he made, he opened a theater where at-risk youth could take classes in acting and stage combat for free as long as they dedicated a couple hours each week to painting sets.
He also opened several nice restaurants and coffee shops in town, each of which showcased art by local artists, and donated nearly 6 million dollars to repairing the children's hospital when it was damaged in a flood.
So why were the faculty and students uncomfortable with having such an upstanding citizen as their speaker?
Because he'd been dead for nearly six years.