Okay, it’s one thing to use someone’s notes in class, or maybe cheat on a test… but plagiarizing your commencement speech at your college graduation?! Come on, now!
Well, that’s exactly what one graduate at Duke University is being accused of.
According to ABC 11, graduate Priya Parkash gave the commencement speech during the 2022 commencement at Wallace Wade Stadium on Sunday (May 8), where she addressed “Duke Nation” as she recalled her experiences as an international student from Pakistan, embracing her “Duke Citizenship” during her matriculation, and encouraging her fellow grads to use what they have learned to “spur revolutions.”
However, the Duke Chronicle pointed out that Parkash’s speech bears a striking resemblance to an address given by Harvard grad Sarah Abushaar during her 2014 commencement. That speech, entitled “The Harvard Spring,” was “an homage to the 2010 political uprisings known as the Arab Spring,” according to a press release. In that speech, Abushaar called on grads to bring the spirit of “Harvard Nation” to enact global change.
In a statement to ABC 11, a spokesperson for Duke University said, “We are aware of and concerned about these allegations and have initiated a process to understand the facts of the situation. Duke University expects all students to abide by their commitment to the Duke Community Standard in everything they do as students.”
In her own statement, Parkash responded, “When I was asked to give the commencement speech, I was thrilled by such an honor and I sought advice from respected friends and family about topics I might address. I was embarrassed and confused to find out too late that some of the suggested passages were taken from a recent commencement speech at another university. I take full responsibility for this oversight and I regret if this incident has in any way distracted from the accomplishments of the Duke class of 2022.”