Jill Abramson makes first public comments at Wake Forest commencement

She tells graduates she’s in the same boat as them.

Jill Abramson told graduates of Wake Forest University on Monday that she’s unsure of the future and in the same boat as them–and she said there’s “not a chance” she is removing her tattoo of The New York Times’ logo.

In her first public comments since being ousted as the editor of The New York Times, Abramson said her sister told her that their father would be just as proud of her handling of being fired as he was when she was named the first female editor of the Times.

“It was the honor of my life to lead the newsroom,” Abramson said. “I’m talking to anyone who has been dumped … you know the sting of losing, or not getting something you badly want. When that happens, you show what are made of.”

Abramson said she had received a note of encouragement from Anita Hill, who she co-wrote a biography on. “Anita wrote me last week to say she was proud of me. That meant so much,” Abramson said.

Abramson insisted “the only real news today is your graduation from this great university.” She also joked about the intense media attention on the speech, saying “I’m impressed that achievements have attracted so much media attention, as they should.”

Abramson was abruptly fired last week from her position as the executive editor of the Times. Although media reports have indicated a salary dispute and her gender played a part in her ouster, Arthur Sulzberger, whose family controls New York Times Co., has insisted her compensation was directly comparable to her male predecessors.

Over the weekend, Sulzberger insisted in a statement that Abramson’s management style was the reason for her firing–and he gave a detailed list of reasons behind the ouster including “arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring in colleagues with her, inadequate communication and public mistreatment of colleagues.”

with Reuters