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Today show anchor Ann Curry spoke at Wheaton College’s commencement on Saturday. But which Wheaton?! There are two—a Christian school in Illinois, and a nondenominational college in Norton, Massachusetts. Curry did not choose the right one.
In a nice little bit of commencement speech-padding, Curry listed a few well-known alumni of Wheaton College, including director Wes Craven and preacher Billy Graham. Can you see where this is going? Wes and Billy went to the Wheaton College in Illinois. Ann Curry was speaking at the Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
This is one of those embarrassing things that happens when you write commencement speeches very quickly, only using Google as your research guide. To her credit, she got a couple names right, including 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Lesley Stahl, but she’s still going to get so much crap from Meredith Vieira.
Curry tried to cover for herself in an apologetic letter to the college by naming a bunch of graduates of the correct school:
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 now know I should have named National Medal of Science winner Dr. Mary Ellen Avery, former New Jersey Governor and former EPA Director Christie Todd Whitman, literary agent Esther Newberg, Oscar-nominated actress Catherine Keener and Ken Babby, the youngest senior officer in the history of the Washington Post, among others. Thank goodness I got Leslie Stahl right.
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.
Hilarious Update: Actually, Ann, you did not get “Leslie” Stahl right, as his her name is spelled “Lesley.”
But the damage has been done! And all Wheaton College graduates are left with is a sort-of funny story to tell at parties, forever.