Paul Quinn’s Weblog

News from Ole Miss and Oxford

UPDATE: Shep Smith speech- Updated

Posted by paulquinn on May 10, 2008

Former Ole Miss student and Fox News anchor Shepard Smith gave his first ever commencement speech this morning. I felt like sleeping in a little (finally!) and missed it. Luckily some buddies saw the speech, and a email from the UM PR department have told me what Smith discussed.

I recently posted maybe Smith wasn’t the best choice simply because he didn’t graduate. Apparently he wore a doctors robe for his graduation day garb, “but he made a big deal about being a dropout,” Ole Miss student in attendance Lindsey Phillips told me. Phillips also said “he just talked about how he wished he hadn’t and how it was strange that a dropout was talking at graduation, as The Dm pointed out.”

The press release focused on different aspects of the speech, which I’ll call “10 seconds.” There was a brief mention of Smith not graduating.

“In a speech punctuated with rah-rah enthusiasm for Ole Miss and his home state, Smith acknowledged that he left the university a few credit hours short of graduation, but credited the “push this amazing place gave me” for his success.”

I (like the DM) hope none of the graduates felt their degree was being undermined by the university because they picked a dropout to honor them

Another friend of mine and her family said they loved the speech, they couldn’t stop talking about how great it was. From what I can gather it was about how life can change quickly and people should be ready for whatever happens.

“There will be moments for which you cannot prepare, but moments for which you must be ready,” said Smith, speaking at the university’s 155th commencement. “When they come, you’ll have a choice: you can be beaten back, you can be frightened or you can rise to meet those moments.”

The press release also quoted Smith saying:

“On a normal day, 10 seconds later, a loved one can drop to a knee and say those words you so wanted to hear, but now you can’t believe it’s happening,” he said. “On a normal day, 10 seconds later, the phone can ring and that job is there halfway across the country. … Ten seconds later, Tyree can can catch a pass between his hand and his helmet – the great escape can happen, and our guy can be the Super Bowl MVP.
“On a normal day, with a perfect blue sky on a beautiful September morning, 10 seconds later, you look up and the biggest building you’ve ever been in is on fire. And there’s about to be a new normal.”

Probably a pretty good speech from what I can tell, but I’ll never know I wasn’t there.


Here is a hilarious NYtimes story from 2004 that discusses Smith’s style.

This is just one sentences that made me laugh out loud.

Jay Wallace, Mr. Smith’s producer, said he wants the program to seem perpetually as if it might veer out of control. “I want it to be like a train that’s about to come off the tracks,” he likes to say.


2 Responses to “UPDATE: Shep Smith speech- Updated”

  1. Alex said

    PEE PEE! I linked you to my blog. More likely than not, that makes me pathetic. Link me back, and I will buy you beer(s).

  2. Backing said

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Backing.

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