Haverford Graduation Speaker, Under Pressure, Bows Out

Police used batons on Occupy protesters under Robert J. Birgeneau.

Haverford College on Tuesday joined a growing list of schools to lose commencement speakers to protests from the left, when Robert J. Birgeneau, a former chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, withdrew from this weekend’s event,” the New York Times reports. “Some students and faculty members at Haverford, a liberal arts college near Philadelphia, objected to the invitation to Mr. Birgeneau to speak and receive an honorary degree because, under him, the University of California police used batons to break up an Occupy protest in 2011. He first stated his support for the police, and then a few days later, saying that he was disturbed by videos of the confrontation, ordered an investigation.”

This follows Condi Rice‘s abdication of a graduate speaking slot at Rutgers following an outcry there, as well as this week’s petition at Rowan to keep Gov. Chris Christie from speaking there. At this pace, we’re an estimated three days away from no college ever having a graduation speaker ever again.


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