Anyone looking for a link to David Halberstam’s commencement address can click here. Here’s a funny tidbit:

So there is life after college; I’m proof of it. And so was Henry Ford II, the grandson of the founder of the Ford Motor Company, who went off to Yale in the late thirties, where he proved to be a devoted playboy but regrettably, an indifferent student. In time with a critical paper due in an English course, he paid a classmate to write the paper for him, was caught in the act, and was unceremoniously bounced from Yale without his degree.

Still the future was not that bleak for him. He managed to get a job after college: with the Ford Motor Company of course–he was wise enough not to change his name–and he soon, amazingly enough, rose to the top, becoming in almost record time the president of the company, and thereby, one of the most powerful and richest industrialists in the country. Much later, a somewhat rueful Yale, always on the lookout for a new building or two–the Henry Ford School of Business administration–invited him back for an honorary degree. That day Henry Ford stood up, held up his beautifully written speech, looked at the assembled Yale officials, waved the speech in front of them, and said, “And I didn’t write this one either.”

I wrote this one.

Indeed. Incidentally, he delivered it at Skidmore College’s May 22 commencement. It happens to be, for all intents and purposes, the same speech as the one he gave two weeks later at Williams.

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