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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Carnegie Mellon University held its commencement activities over the weekend.
While many were struck by the star power of Ted Danson receiving an honorary degree, it was the keynote speaker who had their attention.
“They all told me not to be too controversial and to be proper. Let me apologize in advance to all of them in advance. Sorry guys, not gonna happen,” David Tepper said.
Tepper talked about things not typically heard in commencement addresses, including the fact that he was abused by his father as a child.
“There was no greater adversity, but I prayed to God that I would never be the same to my children. And I am proud to say in what I consider to be the greatest accomplishment in my life that I broke that cycle,” he said.
Tepper grew up in Stanton Heights, went to Peabody High School, worked his way through Pitt and eventually earned his MBA from CMU.
Now, the billionaire businessman who came from next to nothing is about to buy the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. He’s also donated more than $125 million to the university.
“A kid who couldn’t go to an NFL game until well into his 20s is now on the verge of getting the NFL’s approval to buy the Carolina Panthers,” he said.
Tepper said he owns much of the change in his life to the education he received at CMU.
“It also was the foundation for everything I have done professionally since then. This place gave me the tools I needed to be successful,” he said.
Now, he’s sharing those experiences with others.