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Schieffer Plucks Advice From Thomas for AU Grads

What do Twitter, graduating students and CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer have in common?

The former helped the later become a worldwide trending topic for 15 minutes on Saturday May 7th when the CBS newsman delivered a commencement speech to graduates of American University’s School of Communication. With AU grad/NJ online editor Ethan Klapper (a former mediabistro intern and current contributor to 10000 Words) and AU’s Social Media Club co-presidents Alex Priest (@alexpriest) and Megan Emily (@MissMeganEmily), among others, live-tweeting the ceremony, the challenge is on to the audience at Wednesday’s Town Hall on the Economy, which Schieffer is co-hosting.

So what advice did Schieffer have for the graduating class?

He began with wisdom from – who else? – former UPI White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who once told then-Sec. of State Henry Kissinger to “start at the end” when he claimed he could only do his briefing in 40 minutes. So Schieffer, who learned that from Thomas 41 years ago when he first came to Washington, began at the end himself and told the graduates, “Congratulations, this is your day. You earned it. No one can take it away from you—so celebrate it.”

He also had words to the wise for the parents: “You have made a substantial investment in your sons and daughters. Now try to stay on good terms with them, because, and remember this always, they are the ones who choose the nursing home.”

Schieffer discussed the future of journalism, assuring students that there is a future for these aspiring journos in whatever technological form that takes. He knocked the Twitter phenomenon, saying, “…Twitter and all that, which I am sad to say may have turned us into a people with limited attention spans, and, too often I am afraid, an impatient people.”

Schieffer concluded with this:  “Do your best, and set your expectations high, and remember always, true greatness comes not from the battles we win, but the battles we choose to fight.”

Other AU graduation speakers at the university that day included Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Peace Corps. Director Aaron Williams and White House Economic Advisor Gene Sperling.

Watch the the School of Communication’s ceremony with Schieffer below.

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