At Cactus Shadows High School in Arizona, a social studies teacher named L. Mark Sweeney, told graduates to “look at the view,” using the same speech he’d given to National Honor Society. It also was nearly identical to a speech by Anna Quindlen written for Villanova’s 1999 graduation. Quindlen never gave the speech, fearing protests of her support for abortion rights would ruin the graduation, “Look at the View” is available online.
Once the Sonoran News realized Sweeney had plagiarized the speech, a reporter checked out the history fellowship he’d won. He’d lifted the topic.
At least, the teacher chose a pleasant, brief speech to steal. Erica Jong was booed at College of Staten Island for a downbeat graduation speech that went on for 40 minutes.