Katie Couric Scratches at Her Cougar Label
06/01/2009 AT 08:15 PM EDT
"It was quite an honor, although slightly daunting to follow in the footsteps of Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfield," Couric, 52, says. "At the precise moment I got up to walk to the podium ... a hawk dropped its half-eaten lunch – a dead bird – in front of me. It landed with a thud."
But then the CBS Evening News anchor jumped right into her irreverent speech that offered a not-so-subtle dig at Sarah Palin "I've been called a cougar lately ... but today ... I'm very happy to be an honorary Tiger instead!" she said, referring to the school's mascot. "Coming here was a real no brainer! After all, I can see New Jersey from my house!"
On a more serious note, she offered some words of wisdom. "Don't be a hater," she said. "Princeton has taught you to think critically, to approach things with a healthy dose of skepticism ... and that's a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say. ... Rise above the collegial nastiness and instead celebrate excellence."