'Epic' welcome speech not plagiarized - Tucson News Now

'Epic' welcome speech not plagiarized

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

An inspirational speech given at Georgia Tech by a graduate of Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee is still trending on social media.

Nick Selby gave a memorable pep talk to incoming freshman earlier this week.

"We here are all such innovative people, so I am telling you...if you want to change the world, you're at Georgia Tech, you can do that!" shouted Selby to the crowd. "If you want to build the iron man suit, you're in Georgia Tech, you can do that! If you want to play theme music during your convocation speech like a bad a**, we're at Georgia Tech, we can do that! I am doing that!"

Selby's rousing freshman convocation speech already has more the 2 million hits on YouTube.

Since the speech has gone viral, he's come under fire for allegedly ripping off someone else's idea.

In fact, the headline on the website Gawker.com reads, "Georgia Tech Student's Epic Welcome Speech was Epically Plagiarized."

Selby's speech is very similar to a speech given in 2008, by his former DVHS speech coach Andy Stone.

Stone is setting the record straight.

He insists Selby had his permission to put his own spin on Stone's speech.

"Throughout our time working together, he always mentioned how inspired he was by the speech and he was a really big fan," said Stone. "So, he asked me if he could use something similar for his convocation speech and I agreed immediately - because he's a very creative kid and I was really excited to see what he could do with a similar idea. And, I think he absolutely killed it."

Stone said he is proud of Selby's public speaking skills and hopes this misunderstanding will put a new focus on the importance of speech and debate curriculum in public schools.

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