Graduation Gaffes Lighten the Moment


Graduation Gaffes

4) It's UCF, Not USF

Students at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., booed their graduation speaker Alex Sink last year after she referred to the school as USF, which is the University of South Florida. At the time, she was Florida's CFO and a gubernatorial candidate.

"You have received an education at one of Florida's finest universities. Everywhere I go I assure you ... I hear about the important role of UCF," she told them. "Not only just here in the Orlando area but all over our state because of the research you're involved in, because of the many fields of study that are offered at USF."

The audience of more than 1,300 graduates booed.

"Did I say USF? That's really bad," Sink said. "I'm going to boo myself."

Sink had called the university by its full name earlier in her speech, and it was only in the abbreviation of the name that she misspoke.

But then it happened again.

"I'm a big fan of USF," she proclaimed.

And again.

"I am so honored to be here today to celebrate in the awarding of the two hundred thousandth degree at US ... uh, UCF."

The crowd erupted in laughter.

"I think I better just get off the stage right quick," she added.

She told WFTV's 11 p.m. news, "I had a little slip of the tongue and I caught myself and we all laughed about it."

5) The Wrong Wheaton

Perhaps the most infamous graduation flub happened last year at Wheaton College in Massachusetts when commencement speaker and "Today" show co-host Ann Curry accidentally referenced Wheaton College alums from a different Wheaton College.

She mentioned evangelist Rev. Billy Graham, movie director Wes Craven and former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. But they all attended Wheaton College in Illinois.

Curry quickly wrote an apology letter.

"I am mortified by my mistake," she wrote, "and can only hope the purity of my motive, to find a way to connect with the graduates and encourage them to a life of service, will allow you to forgive me."

College spokesman Michael Graca accepted the apology, the AP reported. "We thought it was heartfelt and genuine," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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