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Wake Forest: Fired N.Y. Times editor will still speak at graduation

Wake Forest: Fired N.Y. Times editor will still speak at graduation

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WINSTON-SALEM — She's still going to speak.

That's the word from Wake Forest University, where former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is scheduled to address graduates at Monday's commencement.

The Times fired Abramson on Wednesday — a Times story suggests there was tension between Abramson and publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. That set off speculation that Abramson might skip commencement.

University President Nathan Hatch confirmed today that Abramson will still speak as planned.

“I cannot think of a better message for the Class of 2014 than that of resilience,” Hatch said in a statement released by the university. “Jill Abramson’s accomplishments speak for themselves, and I am confident she will have an inspiring and timely message for our graduates.”

Abramson was named the first female executive editor in Times history in 2011. She started working at the newspaper in 1997 and later served as the Times' Washington bureau chief and managing editor.

Her career includes nine years at the Wall Street Journal and a National Book Critics Circle Award for a book she wrote on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Wake Forest commencement will start at 9 a.m. Monday on Hearn Plaza on campus. The university expects to award about 1,700 degrees. The event is not open to the public, but a live webstream will be available. 

The university announced its commencement speaker in mid-March.


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