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Posted at 2:24 PM ET, 05/26/2010

Ann Curry gives wrong commencement speech

By Valerie Strauss

Here’s a lesson in doing your homework and checking it twice:

NBC veteran journalist Ann Curry delivered a speech at the 175th commencement of Wheaton College in Massachusetts over the weekend--but thought she was talking to the student body at the Illinois institution of the same name.

That became immediately obvious when she started the speech by naming distinguished alumni of the Massachusetts school-- including the Rev. Billy Graham and movie director Wes Craven--but who really had gone to Wheaton in Illinois. She did get one graduate correct though: her colleague Lesley Stahl.

The two colleges share the name Wheaton, but the school in Wheaton, Illinois, is a Christian liberal-arts institution. The Massachusetts school was a secular womens liberal-arts college until 1988 but is now coed.

Curry apologized to the school community by e-mail, saying:
"I am mortified by my mistake, and can only hope the purity of my motive, to find a way to connect with the graduates and to encourage them to a life of service, will allow you to forgive me.”

The Web site at Wheaton College--the one where she actually spoke--has a partial transcript of her speech, and video, but they don’t include the portion that was incorrect.

Here's part of her speech:

"As a mother myself, I have worried about the particular burdens on your generation," she said. "Growing up not only with the pressures from this economy, but also in a time of war, a time of international terrorism, huge humanitarian disasters, both man-made as in Darfur and Congo, and otherwise. To you I say, it is only with adversity that we even have a chance at greatness. Adversity is your opportunity.”

InsideHigherEducation.com quotes school spokesman Michael Graca as saying that he decided against including “information we knew to be inaccurate."


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By Valerie Strauss  | May 26, 2010; 2:24 PM ET
Categories:  College Life  | Tags:  ann curry, ann curry and speech, ann curry gives wrong speech, commencement speech, wheaton college, wheaton college and commencement and speech, wheaton college commencement, wrong commencement speech, wrong speech  
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Comments

Wheaton College spokesman Michael Graca said that he decided against including “information we knew to be inaccurate," in regards to Ann Curry's case of mistaken identity.

The Congress does this regularly in the Congressional Record, where any member of Congress can "revise and extend" his or her remarks. I would bet that one would be hard pressed to find a transcript of the Congressional Record that correlates with what was actually heard on a C-SPAN broadcast.

Posted by: retiree11 | May 26, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

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