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Jerry Springer Is Well-Received
At Northwestern Law Graduation

After Initial Protest, Talk Show Host Spoke At Commencement Ceremony Friday

Mike Puccinelli
CHICAGO (CBS) ― Jerry Springer is used to being in the limelight, but his appearance Friday in Chicago didn't have everyone chanting his name.

CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reports as a former television anchor, radio talk-show host and Cincinnati mayor, Springer is best known for the verbal and sometimes physical slugfest on television that bears his name.

But now the ringmaster who presided over a show episode called "Attack of the Ex-Lovers" is under attack himself.

Springer was tapped to deliver the commencement address at Northwestern University's law school. But in advance of his appearance some students protested the selection, which they called an embarrassment to the prestigious school.

Allison Myles-Lee signed a petition to try and block his appearance.

"I would have liked to see someone more interested in what I'm going into, which is public interest law," Myles-Lee said.

But the new graduate from Virginia says she was won over by his speech.

"I initially signed it because he was not my first choice. If I could I would withdraw my signature today. I'm happy he came," she said.

Cameras were not allowed in the commencement, but Springer addressed his critics head on saying he understood their objections to what he called his silly show.

"When they meet me and hear me talk they realize the show is separate from me," Springer said after the ceremony.

And he said as future lawyers all graduates will find themselves having to make tough ethical choices.

"None of us are immune from it," he said. "And we have to remember that none of us are better than anybody else. I'm not better than the people on my show."

Springer ended his speech by telling graduates how much of his parents' families were killed in the Holocaust.

He told of how his family went from being nearly annihilated to a life of great privilege.

In America, he said, all things are possible.