Preston & Steve®

On Friday afternoon a graduation video from a Philadelphia area nursing school of mispronounced names was everywhere with the same question, is this real?

UPDATE: Doing what we can to help:  It’s graduation season. Usually the biggest news to come out of this season is which celebrity is making the commencement speech at which school. There might be a fun video moment or photo op that gets shared around after it happens, but that’s about it. For Philadelphians, that changed on May 10, 2024.

  • Move Over Julie Jerkoff

    There is one graduation moment that went viral before this Philly-famous flub. In May 2018, the announcer at Buter University’s commencement made one of the greatest flubs of all time. The student approaching this stage was named Julie Kirkihoff. That’s not the name that was announced. Julie Jerkoff. That’s what was clearly said, and immediately apologized for. “Julie Jerkoff. Forgive me, Kirkhoff.” That mistake was innocent, but it will live on forever thanks to online streaming of commencement ceremonies.
  • It's Real And It's Spectacular

    Late on a Friday morning, all of the Philly based comedy accounts lit up with the same video. It showed a group of people watching a commencement ceremony on TV. The voice coming from the television was the focus. The broadcast was showing the name “Sarah Virginia Brennan,” but the announcer read “Si-ear Vuvun Gean-gun Bre-none”. WHAT?


    Please tell me how one can be allowed to speak at college commencement and mess up that badly 🫠😬

    ♬ original sound - Col

    The video, originally posted by @colleenb415 took over the internet. It was shared, reposted and the force behind hours of laughter. But what was really going on? Was it real? Was it a voiceover? Was it AI doing its AI thing?

    @adsonntag: Not knowing how to pronounce Thomas at Thomas Jefferson University is crazy

    No one knew until an apology came down which confirmed that the mispronouncing of names really happened.

  • The Apology

    At 3pm, Thomas Jefferson University issued an apology directed to the graduates of the Jefferson College of Nursing.

    @mgmuller60 I was there to see my daughter. This is 100% the truth

    They admitted that the mispronunciations were caused by phonetic spellings on the speaker’s cards. Listening closely, you can hear confusion and embarrassment in the announcers voice. They knew something wasn’t right.

    The school went on to point out that the presenter did apologize during the ceremony, a moment that was left out of the viral video. Here’s the full statement

    “The leadership and faculty of Thomas Jefferson University extend our sincerest apologies for the mispronunciations of the names of several of our graduating nursing students during our recent commencement ceremony. This ceremony is a celebration of the significant achievements of our students, and each graduate deserves to have their name honored correctly on this pivotal day. 

    We also recognize that commencement is not only a milestone for our students but also a deeply important day for their families and loved ones who have supported them throughout their educational journey, and we are deeply sorry for any disappointment this may have caused. The mispronunciations occurred due to the way phonetic spellings were presented on the speaker’s cards, which was noted when the presenter apologized during the ceremony. This unfortunate error does not reflect the immense respect we have for our graduates and the value we place on their hard-earned accomplishments.”

    Congratulations to the 2024 College of Nursing Students, you just made history!

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