The lead paragraph in Fort Worth Weekly‘s recent story about Texas A&M System threatening instructors with termination includes a passing reference to a few “graduates” at Tarleton State Univeristy.
“It’s graduates have found success in careers as varied as music (Ryan Bingham), acting (George Kennedy), and politics (Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief),” I boldy wrote in that article.
However, a Tarleton professor sent me the following email: “While I truly appreciate your efforts to bring A&M practices to light, your first paragraph has two glaring errors. Ryan Bingham is not a Tarleton graduate; he’s a Tarleton dropout. And George Kennedy was in a military training program (WWII) while on campus and did not graduate from what would have been a junior college at the time.”
I culled the information regarding Bingham and Kennedy from the school website, which lists both as “notable alumni.”
“Alumni,” in my still-evolving brain muscle, somehow transmuted into “graduates.”
However, the dictionary clearly defines alumni as someone who attends or graduates from a school.
In other words, I erroneously graduated Bingham and Kennedy. I regret the error. And I pray that their careers survive my faux pas (defined by the dictionary as “a blunder”).