Jill Abramson Speaks Out About New York Times Firing, Says She Won't Remove Times Tattoo

May 19, 2014 | Updated May 19, 2014

Jill Abramson spoke out about her firing from The New York Times publicly for the first time on Monday.

She was the commencement speaker at Wake Forest University's graduation. Abramson counseled the graduating class of 2014 about the importance of resilience and perseverance.

"It was the honor of my life to lead the newsroom," she said, adding that there was "not a chance" she will remove her signature Times "T" tattoo.

She said that her sister called her Thursday, one day after she had been fired, and told her that their father would have been proud. "It meant more to our father to see us deal with a setback and try to bounce back, than watch how we handled our successes. Show what you are made of, he would say," Abramson said.

Later, she spoke about heading out into the real world and facing loss. "Sure, losing a job you love hurts, but the work I revere — journalism that holds powerful institutions and people accountable — is what makes our democracy so resilient. This is the work I will remain very much a part of."

As for what lies ahead for her, Abramson told graduates that she doesn't know, "so I'm in exactly the same boat as many of you."