Commencement is usually a time when the speaker gives encouragement to the college graduates as they head off into the work force and pursue their life dreams. But NBC’s Today Show anchor Ann Curry, this year’s Wheaton College commencement speaker, gave mixed signals, making an embarrassing mistake during her speech.
In the embedded video from NBC’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon, Curry provided her explanation for the journalistic mixup: never Google drunk. (HT @Tweed )
“…so I had this one [commencement speech] at Wheaton College and I had to get some background about who had actually graduated from Wheaton College and you should never Google drunk. … If you think about it, just stop yourself. Give your keyboard to a designated Googler. …” (emphasis added).
The Norfolk campus presented Curry with an honorary doctorate in humane letters. Curry said in her speech that her first job out of college was as a cocktail waitress.
“Now as Aaron hinted earlier I know many of you … are fearful about graduating in this very tough economy and you may be worrying about finding jobs in your chosen fields, so perhaps it might be useful for me to reveal to you in front of all of your parents that after four years of college my first job was as a cocktail waitress,” she says in the school’s commencement video . “And you might also enjoy knowing that as my mother was a Japanese immigrant from a poor rice farming family who never went to college herself, she did not particularly understand how I could become a cocktail waitress after four years of studying journalism.”
“So here’s what got me through it,” she later added,
“I had a dream and you are here for a reason. Listen to your heart to find out what that reason is and once you find it stay true to it. We all know this economic downturn will end. The key is to be ready. And to everyone who says to you along the way that you cannot do something, and you will meet these people, the thing you should have in your mind is ‘Oh yeah? Watch me.’”
“… Adversity is your opportunity. …”
Wheaton College (Mass.) has removed Curry’s erroneous references to Billy Graham and others from both the transcript  and the commencement video.
Bethany Stotts is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia .