In her first public appearance since being fired last week, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson told graduating students at Wake Forest University that she shared something important with them: an uncertain future.
“What’s next for me? I don’t know, so I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you and, like you, I’m a little scared, but also excited,” she said in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Monday. Throughout her remarks, she made light of her situation and the excessive media attention that followed her to the campus, quipping that the graduates’ accomplishments had managed to capture the interest of the national reporters who’d shown up for the ceremony.
Abramson refrained from saying anything negative about her former employers, instead calling her time at the newspaper “the honor of my life” and praising the Times as “an important and irreplaceable institution.” She also assured the audience she won’t remove her statue of the New York Times Gothic “T.”
Overall, her speech encouraged students to remain resilient and optimistic in the face of adversity, and not to let rejections and disappointments deter them from moving forward.