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But Commencement Has Always Been Such a Joyous Occasion!

- May 31, 2008

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(Northwestern University grads, circa 1974)

From Inside Higher Ed:

bq. Northwestern University just moves from one controversy to another with regard to this year’s commencement. Many law students are offended that Jerry Springer will be their speaker. And one of the university’s planned recipients for an honorary doctorate, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was hastily uninvited after he became famous as Sen. Barack Obama’s ex-pastor. As these incidents were debated, the university hinted that graduates would get a big name as the main speaker. Now that the name is out — Chicago Mayor Richard Daley — many students are unimpressed, and some are complaining. The Chicago Tribune reported that one student e-mailed the university’s president and received a testy response. The student, Matthew Braslow, wrote: “If your goal in the speaker selection process was to make graduating seniors happy about leaving this university, then mission accomplished.” President Henry Bienen replied: “”Matthew, grow up…. You also sound like a very unhappy person. I am sorry for that. Hopefully things will improve for you over the years.”

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