Students, Parents in Boston Suburb Defend Teacher After Controversial Commencement Speech

McCullough said in the past week he has received compliments from around the country as the story of his speech spread from Wellesley to Boston and then overseas. While some headlines have cast his words in a negative light – the Daily Mail, a British newspaper, called his speech a "bizarre rant" – McCullough said he has only heard flattering responses.

McCullough also delivered Wellesley's faculty speech in 2006, when he implored graduates to "carpe the heck out of every diem." In a self-allusion, McCullough closed his 2012 speech with a warning that his call six years ago to seize the day was not a "license for self-indulgence."

"You too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself," he said. "The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you're not special. Because everyone is."

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