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Jill Abramson speaks at Wake Forest, first public appearance since being fired from Times

Abramson to graduates: "I'm in exactly the same boat as many of you."
By Matt Bradwell   |   May 19, 2014 at 11:20 AM   |   Comments

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., May 19 (UPI) -- In her first public appearance since being fired, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson spoke to the graduating class of Wake Forest University Monday morning.

Abramson was booked to be Wake Forest's 2014 commencement speaker months before her abrupt ouster from the Times, a move that did not affect the University's commitment to her.

"I cannot think of a better message for the Class of 2014 than that of resilience," Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch said in a statement late last week. "I am confident she will have an inspiring and timely message for our graduates."

Abramson spoke of a phone a call with her sister the day after she was fired, where the two discussed their father and his lessons on perseverance.

"It meant more to our father to see us deal with a setback and try to bounce back, than watch how we handled our successes," Abramson said. "Show what you are made of."

Abramson went on to discuss her tenure at the Grey Lady specifically, as well as the future of her career.

Sure, losing a job you love hurts, but the work I revere -- journalism that holds powerful institutions and people accountable -- is what makes our democracy so resilient. This is the work I will remain very much a part of.

Abramson didn't specifically say what was next for her, only joking, "I don't know! So I'm in exactly the same boat as many of you."

Follow @mckb26 and @UPI on Twitter.
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