Plagiarism Alleged in Duke Commencement Speech

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Duke University is investigating whether a student speech at commencement on Sunday was a plagiarized version of a student speech at Harvard University’s commencement in 2014, The News & Observer reported.

“We are aware of and concerned about these allegations and have initiated a process to understand the facts of the situation,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. “Duke University expects all students to abide by their commitment to the Duke Community Standard in everything they do as students.”

Priya Parkash was the senior class speaker. Through a public relations spokesman, she released a statement to the News & Observer: “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.”

The issues with the speech were first reported by The Duke Chronicle, of which Parkash was previously the news editor. The Duke Chronicle compared numerous passages from Parkash’s speech to one by Sarah Abushaar at Harvard.

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