Katie Couric urges UVa grads to persevere

May 21, 2012 • Entertainment

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan, right, applauds as journalist and author Katie Couric returns to her seat after speaking at the University of Virginia commencement exercises Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Sabrina Schaeffer)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Television journalist Katie Couric [auth] has urged University of Virginia graduates to take risks and persevere.

The Daily Progress reports ( ) that the former “Today” host and CBS News anchor addressed about 6,400 graduates on Sunday. She recounted the deaths of her husband and sister, both of whom died of cancer, and said, “Life can deal you some crushing blows, and we all need a deep reserve of resilience to survive.”

Couric, now with ABC News and developing a daytime talk show “Katie” that debuts Sept. 10, also joked about criticism she faced as the first female solo anchor of a network’s nightly news program.

She quipped, “Some said I lacked ‘gravitas,’ which I’ve since decided is Latin for ‘testicles.'”

Couric is a 1979 UVa graduate. The university’s new cancer center is named for her sister Emily Couric, a Virginia state senator who died in 2001.

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