Advertisement

UofSC president issues apology for not citing source in commencement speech

In a statement, UofSC President Bob Caslen apologized to Adm. William McRaven, a portion of...
In a statement, UofSC President Bob Caslen apologized to Adm. William McRaven, a portion of whose speech he included in his own message to graduates.(University of South Carolina via Facebook)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 5:44 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/WIS) - The president of the University of South Carolina apologized Monday for failing to properly cite the source for a speech he gave during a weekend graduation ceremony.

In a statement, UofSC President Bob Caslen apologized to Adm. William McRaven, a portion of whose speech he included in his own message to graduates.

Here is the message he sent Monday morning:

I am truly sorry. During my remarks in our weekend commencement ceremonies, I shared a well-known quote from Admiral William McRaven and failed to cite him as its original author and speaker. I was searching for words about resilience in adversity and when they were transcribed into the speech, I failed to ensure its attribution. I take full responsibility for this oversight.

I sincerely apologize to Admiral McRaven, someone I know and respect, our graduates, their families and the entire university community for not leading by example.

McCraven gave a commencement speech in 2014 at the University of Texas in which he said the following:

“Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today. And what started here will indeed have changed the world — for the better.”

McCraven’s speech has been viewed more than 3.5 million times on YouTube.

During the UofSC graduation at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, Caslen said the following:

“Know that life is not fair and if you’re like me you’ll fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the cowardly bullies and lift up the downtrodden and never, never give up – if you do those things, the next generation and the generations to follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today. And what started here – today – will indeed change the world — for the better.”

At an earlier ceremony the night before, Caslen congratulated new graduates of “the University of California.” When someone on the dais to his right corrected him, he said he owed the audience push-ups for having made that error.

Copyright 2021 WCSC/WIS. All rights reserved.