Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

OSU Pres. Carter Says He ‘Did Not Know’ About Content Of Commencement Speech

In a week fraught with both tragedy and eyebrow-raising spectacle, Ohio State University President Walter “Ted” Carter found himself addressing a dual set of concerns following the university’s Spring commencement.

President Carter spoke to reporters on Wednesday, navigating the delicate aftermath of a fatal incident and an offbeat commencement address that left many scratching their heads.

The recent ceremony was marred by the tragic death of 53-year-old Larissa Brady, who tragically fell from Ohio Stadium as graduates were arriving. The incident, which went unmentioned during the ceremony, has sparked questions about the university’s response.

President Carter expressed his condolences, noting the timing and sensitive nature of the information contributed to the decision to withhold mention during the event. “Quite frankly, we didn’t have all the information. And out of respect for that family who I knew either was somehow connected to graduation, I thought it very inappropriate to say anything about it until we had more facts,” Carter explained.

On a dramatically different note, the choice of Chris Pan as commencement speaker has also stirred conversation and controversy. Pan, a 1999 OSU grad known for his investments in Bitcoin and motivational speaking—interspersed with musical interludes—delivered a speech that was anything but conventional.

Reportedly under the influence of psychedelic drugs to aid his creativity, Pan’s performance included singing, a magic trick involving Bitcoin, and some financial advice that didn’t quite resonate with the audience, drawing boos.

President Carter, maintaining a semblance of humor about the situation, commented on Pan’s approach: “Let me say, I hope… whatever drugs he did use, I hope they were prescribed. I certainly wouldn’t endorse that.”

He admitted he was unprepared for the content of Pan’s speech, emphasizing the autonomy speakers have once they’re at the microphone.

“I did not know what he was really going to speak about. And again, wouldn’t matter, because once he gets to the microphone, he’s got the microphone… There were some that liked it and a lot that didn’t,” said Carter.

Interestingly, both Pan and Carter share a connection through their involvement with cryptocurrency—Carter himself sits on the board of directors of a Bitcoin mining company. Yet, the president insists their mutual interest in cryptocurrency played no role in Pan’s selection as speaker, describing it as “completely random.”

President Carter’s statements came as he testified before the Ohio Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee, part of a broader request for funding from Ohio’s public universities.

Featured image via OSU.