Wheaton Speaker Cites Wrong College


Ann Curry confuses Wheaton institutions

Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts recently celebrated its 175th commencement, welcoming NBC news anchor and journalist Ann Curry to the school to address its 405 graduates and their guests.

Other Wheaton

mortarboardBut in her commencement address the “Today” show host mistakenly referenced notable alumni from the “other” Wheaton school, the Illinois based Christian evangelical school attended by Billy Graham, Dennis Hastert and Wes Craven. Those “Wheaton” grads were among five “distinguished alumni” who did not graduate from the Massachusetts school although Curry did correctly cite Lesley Stahl as someone who is an alumnus.

Following her speech Curry received a standing ovation, but soon learned she had referenced graduates from the wrong college. In short order, Curry issued a heartfelt written apology to the school which they quickly accepted.

Curry said in her apology, “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.”

Liberal Arts

Both Wheaton schools are liberal arts institutions, but the Illinois Wheaton is based on Christian values while the Massachusetts school is secular. The Massachusetts college was founded as a school for women, welcoming men for the first time in 1988, years after most of the alumni mentioned would have graduated.

Though the Wheaton schools will quickly put this issue behind them, someone else likely wrote the speech for Curry and should be admonished for improper fact checking. Curry’s position as a journalist means she is familiar with verifying facts and though her apology has been accepted, the question remains: what other information presented by Curry on the Today show may not have been properly researched?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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