University Apologizes After Presenter Botches Names At Graduation Ceremony In Viral Clip

Thomas Jefferson University has apologized after a presenter mispronounced multiple students’ names at a graduation ceremony Thursday.

In video that went viral online, the presenter was heard struggling to get graduates’ names right as they walked across a stage — with some flashing awkward smiles in response — at the Jefferson College of Nursing’s commencement in Philadelphia.

The presenter pronounced names like Sarah as “Psyearah,” Molly Elizabeth as “Maleena Zabeth” and Thomas as “Tamoomay.”

“Please tell me how one can be allowed to speak at college commencement and mess up that badly,” wrote TikTok user @colleenb415, whose clip of the botched pronunciations received over 10 million views on the platform.

“My daughters Thomas Jefferson University 2024 Graduation 😂. This announcer was fantastic !!” joked TikToker @j_mul1013.

Some social media users compared the presenter’s blunder to the “Substitute Teacher” sketch from the show “Key & Peele,” while others asked, “How on earth did this go on for so long.”

Thomas Jefferson University later issued a statement with its “sincerest apologies for the mispronunciations.” The school blamed the mistakes on “the way phonetic spellings were presented on the speaker’s cards,” adding that the presenter had apologized at the graduation ceremony.

“This unfortunate error does not reflect the immense respect we have for our graduates and the value we place on their hard-earned accomplishments,” the university said.