In other college commencement news, NBC’s Ann Curry takes the commencement speech flub of the year award by a landslide. The news anchor spoke this past weekend at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and wisely lauded the accomplishments of its graduates, including evangelist Billy Graham, 9/11 hero Todd Beamer, and director Wes Craven—all of whom attended the other Wheaton College. You know—in Illinois. At least Obama was maybe probably joking when he called us “Wellesleyan” in ’08.
Still, Curry was classy enough to apologize in full:
So it is with a heavy heart that I ask you to forgive me for mistakenly naming graduates of the other Wheaton College in my address. . . .
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.
I’m thinking it’s an all-too-familiar scenario for students and graduates of the twenty Wesleyan variations scattered around the country—I can only imagine the murderous glare you’d get if you mention MGMT to an Ohio Wesleyan alum. So if you’re out there, Mayor John Hickenlooper ’74: thanks for not mentioning Illinois Wesleyan alums Adlai Stevenson and Alfred O. Coffin (the “first African American man to receive a Ph.D in Zoology”—thanks, Wikipedia!) in your speech last week. We got your back.