Fired New York Times editor Jill Abramson stood by her former employer during her commencement speech Monday at Wake Forest University, describing the newspaper as a career highlight.
Ms. Abramson, who was ousted Wednesday after three years at the helm, rose above the fray of her mysterious firing during Monday's speech to praise her former colleagues who "risk their lives on a daily basis" to bring readers stories of impact.
She also told the brief story of a colleague who asked if she was going remove the "T" she had tattooed on her back in honor of the Times.
"Not a chance," Ms. Abramson said. "It was the honor of my life to lead the newsroom."
Details about her departure remain murky. Some reports suggest that top newspaper chiefs were unhappy with her request for equal pay to her previous male counterparts, while others suggest she was an unpopular figure in the newsroom.
She addressed the issue, saying setbacks are crucial to showing "what you are made of," she cited her father as saying.
"I'm talking to anyone who's been dumped … you know the sting of losing," she said. "When that happens, show what you are made of."
She also said that the one worry she had about giving the commencement address was the "small media circus following me would detract attention away from you, the fabulous class of 2014."
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