CBS News Anchor Jim Axelrod Takes Selfie During Commencement Address to 522 Montclair H.S. Graduates

June 24, 2014 at 4:45 AM

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The weather was perfect for the outdoor graduation in the Montclair High School (MHS) amphitheater for its 147th commencement ceremonies. Family and friends of the graduates gathered on Monday to celebrate this joyous occasion. 

CBS News anchor Jim Axelrod gave the commencement address to 522 MHS graduates. Axelrod, a Montclair resident, is the anchor of the Saturday edition of the “CBS Evening News” and a national correspondent for CBS News. Among the graduates was Axelrod’s daughter, Emma.

Principal James Earle opened the ceremony with words of encouragement to the graduates, saying, “Surround yourself with good people.”  A serenade by the MHS Honors Choir preceded Axelrod's speech.

Sign Up for E-News

Axelrod opened by telling the audience that he was both "speechless" and honored to be able to address the class of 2014. He shared personal stories with the graduates that made the audience chuckle while also sending a message of encouragement for the future.

Axelrod told the graduates, “This is one of life’s perfect moments for all of us. When you get one, you have to freeze it.”  Axelrod received cheers and laughs from the audience when he stopped in the middle of his commencement speech to take a selfie.  He took a few selfies with both the seated graduates in the background and then with the audience behind him.

In his address, Axelrod highlighted the positive attributes of Montclair and the Montclair Public Schools.  He said, “I can’t imagine any community in the nation that is sending more graduates to colleges than Montclair.”  Axelrod connected with the graduates by informing them that he was a high school graduate 33 years earlier.  He shared that he wanted to leave graduates with some words of wisdom that will last them a lifetime.  “There are no secrets in life, only special experiences,” Axelrod continued.

Axelrod encouraged graduates, “You will have enormous success in your life.  Life is not about how you handle success, but how you handle failure.”  He continued by sharing a story of triumph from a woman he once interviewed and how her words inspired him.  “There is no formula to help you control life.  You cannot control life, only how you respond to it,” continued Axelrod to an applauding audience.   

Axelrod shared personal stories of failure and triumph with the audience, including the day that his house burned down earlier this year.  “Proper treatment of failure is a lasting foundation of success.  Montclair High School class of 2014 will achieve jaw-dropping, eye-popping, button-popping success,” he exclaimed.

Presentation of diplomas were awarded by Superintendent, Dr. Penny MacCormack and Principal James Earle.  The graduates and audience erupted in celebration at the close of the presentation of diplomas. 

Mark Rupinski, father of a graduating senior said, "My daughter has been in the Montclair Schools since kidergarten.  She is graduating with a partial scholarship to American University in Washington, DC." 

Following the graduation ceremony was a reception on the lawn for graduates and their families. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Police Investigate Shooting Homicide of Cab Driver in Orange

December 2, 2016

ORANGE, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Orange Police Director Todd Warren have announced that authorities are investigating a fatal shooting in Orange late Wednesday night (11/30/16). 

Shortly after 11:00 p.m., Orange police officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Snyder Street on reports of a motor vehicle crash. Arriving officers observed that a livery ...

TAPinto Westfield Reaches More than 1 Million Pageviews in 2016

November 22, 2016

WESTFIELD, NJ —  TAPinto Westfield shattered records last month when the local news site reached more than 1 million pageviews in 2016.

The only professional news source dedicated to Westfield, NJ, news 24 hours a day, seven days a week, TAPinto Westfield is part of, a network of locally owned and operated online news sites.

“I’m especially proud of our ...

My Epic Beauty Fails

One day as I was looking around a high-end cosmetics store for a new lipstick, a “beauty expert” approached me and said that I was so stunning I should forget the lipstick, and get a lip plumper instead. At first I wondered why I needed a lip plumper if I was already so stunning. But then I thought, “Now here is someone wearing a badge that says, ‘beauty expert,’ so ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, December 3, 9:30 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon:  Nature Infused Yoga Fall Series

Green Health & Wellness

Sat, December 3, 10:00 AM


Holiday Trunk Show

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, December 3, 10:00 AM

The Salvation Army, Montclair

The 24th Annual Holiday Art & Craft Show

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Home & Garden

TAPinto Passaic Valley Breaks 15,000 Readers in Less Than 90 days

December 3, 2016

LITTLE FALLS, TOTOWA, WOODLAND PARK, N.J. - Less than 90 days after launching on September 9, TAPinto Passaic Valley has amassed a readership of over 15,000 users, and over 32,000 page views in the month of November alone.

TAPinto Passaic Valley is the only locally owned and operated news source serving the the three surrounding towns, started by two local Passaic Valley alum, Mike ...