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Miami awards 3,385 degrees
William Safire, former New York Times political columnist who writes a weekly column about language, told Miami University graduates to never underestimate the importance of writing with clarity and style.
Express yourselves with passion, precision and grace, he said at the university's 166th spring commencement May 7.
Miamis own heritage emphasizes the importance of language to society, he said, citing William Holmes McGuffeys famous 19th century readers, which have sold 122 million copies. Here is where learning about writing and reading had its birth, he said.
Today, the era of instant and constant communication threatens the way we write, Safire said.
He urged graduates to realize that not every email message requires an answer and certainly not right away. Accept the notion that there can be too much communication. Not everybody needs to know everything you know, he said.
Miami awarded 3,385 degrees at its 166th annual spring commencement. An estimated 17,000 family members and friends attended the outdoor ceremony at Yager Stadium.
Safire was awarded an honorary doctorate by Miami.
Also receiving honorary degrees were Mitchell P. Rales, entrepreneur, corporate leader, philanthropist and a 1978 graduate of Miami; and Floyd Leonard, chief of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.