Former media mogul Ted Turner  received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during Oglethorpe University’s 2012 commencement ceremonies on May 12.

Rainy weather turned the usually outspoken, sometimes outrageous, Turner into a man of very few words.

As the crowd of family, friends and students huddled under a rainbow of colorful umbrellas, Turner said, “This is the 46th one I’ve received, but this is the first time it’s rained.”

University President Lawrence Schall then said, “That’s the shortest speech ever given.”

Some 250 graduating students also received their degrees on the soggy campus quad. A light drizzle slowly turned to a steady rain, and more people ran for cover under water station tents. “One thing I hope for all of you today is that you will leave here fearless,” Schall said.

The program was uninterrupted for the first 40 minutes, but then the soaked sound system crackled and cut off Alumni Association President John Cleveland Hill in mid-sentence. He concluded by encouraging the grads to “Make a life, make a living and make a difference.”

–J.D. Moor

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

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