Graduate Gets Hard Lesson in Concession

Jim Stingl:

He looked out over the 100 kids in caps and gowns and wondered aloud what happened to everyone else. Their freshman class was nearly 500, school records show. Sure, some had transferred to other schools, but too many just gave up and quit.
Matt cried as he talked about classmate David Franklin. “This kid was one of the most talented, radiant and brilliant kids I ever knew, and he was shot and killed because he wore a T-shirt in the wrong part of town,” he said. “Something needs to change.”
Matt told me he picked Marshall because its international baccalaureate program earned him college credits. He has joined the National Guard and will attend Hawaii Pacific University to study psychology, English and theater.

Joel McNally has more.
Umstot’s myspace blog and the original speech text.