Ryan urges graduates to search for truth

More than 1,100 students received their undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University Earlier this week. The commencement ceremony was held in Hearn Plaza just outside historic Wait Chapel.

Ryan urges graduates to search for truth
May 23
04:18 2019

In the era of “fake news,” Fredrick J. Ryan Jr., publisher and chief editor of The Washington Post, told graduates at Wake Forest University to search for truth and not settle for basic answers.

“The speed at which information now races across the Internet, it enables fake news to be weaponized and strategically targeted to achieve a desired effect. Be it to move financial markets, ruin reputations, inflame regional tensions, or influence political campaigns,” continued Ryan. “These swiftly evolving technologies provide a powerful reminder that fake news and other references to spread misinformation through our digital networks present new and increasingly complex challenges in the years ahead. 

“Combating this problem won’t be easy and the work will fall on each and every one of you.” 

As he stood before the class of 2019 gathered on the lawn of Hearn Plaza, Ryan told the graduates how they respond to these challenges will be felt by society for years to come. Ryan, who serves as chairman of the White House Historical Association and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, called out the Trump Administration for its attempts to suppress serious journalism. He said, “In these cases the charge of fake news is used to deliberately muddy the line between what’s real and what’s not.

“It’s an attempt to put us in a post-truth era where we’re expected to accept alternative facts,” he said. “These verbal assaults create a dangerous environment; he should stop them immediately before his words lead to physical harm to innocent Americans.” 

Ryan said regardless of who we are, where we work, or what party we support, we can all commit to safeguarding and honoring the truth. 

With 1,982 graduates, the Class of 2019 is the largest in university history. When addressing his peers, SGA (Student Government Association) President Danny Reeves said his degree represents countless memories and countless lessons that will help them solve the problems of tomorrow.

“Our futures will be dominated by situations and problems that we may not have the answers to, but you have done it here at Wake Forest and you will continue to solve the problems of your future.” Reeves continued, “No matter what your future holds, just know that you will solve those unknown questions. You will meet people who will challenge and love you and you will struggle, but your experiences over the past four years have prepared you for this moment.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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