Senator Chuck Schumer has a somewhat unusual hobby: showing up at colleges across New York State and telling young graduates how he fell in love with a woman who subsequently dumped him.
According to a Wall Street Journal report published Thursday night, Schumer oftentimes waits until the last minute to notify schools he will appear at their commencement to tell his breakup tale. Because of this, he is generally a surprise guest when he shows up to deliver a version of his well-worn breakup speech.
"Forty years ago I sat at graduation from college as you are today. And I had learned right there that I had won a scholarship to travel all around the world, all expenses paid, for a whole year. Well, for me it it was an opportunity of a lifetime ... but at the same time I met a girl and I fell in love. Awwww," Schumer said at the 2014 Hofstra University graduation ceremony, for example.
"Don't applaud over there. The story continues you romantics," he added after informing the crowd he chose to give up the scholarship to stay with his girlfriend. "She dumped me by Labor Day."
"There I was: no scholarship, no trip around the world, no girl. I said to myself, 'What a loser you are,'" Schumer similarly recalled this year at Binghamton University.
Schumer's graduation breakup speech has become something of a New York State tradition. Over the last 10 years, The Journal reported, the senator has done a commencement speech at least 20 times around New York, including at least five times at Hofstra; at least three times each at the College of Saint Rose, Marist College, and Binghamton; and at least twice at Alfred State, Herkimer County Community College, and Mohawk Valley Community College.
His spontaneous appearances have left some students at the events confused.
"It was odd," a Fordham University law school graduate told the paper. "The debate became: 'Was he invited?'"
For his part, Schumer said, "It's one of my favorite things to do every year."
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