Monday, May 19, 2014

Be Careful What You Wish For

Genie, make me a malted!
Poof, you're a malted!
There has been a rash of cancelled commencement speakers this spring.  Various speakers dropped out when students protested the selection.  Among the speakers who dropped was former UC-Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau who had been invited to Haverford. 

Protesters at Haverford blocked Birgeneau and got instead William Bowen, former president of Princeton.  But then:

In a surprising move, a commencement speaker at Haverford College on Sunday used the celebratory occasion to deliver a sharp rebuke to students who had mounted a campaign against another speaker who had been scheduled to appear but withdrew amid the controversy. William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton and a nationally respected higher education leader, called the student protestors' approach both "immature" and "arrogant" and the subsequent withdrawal of Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California Berkeley, a "defeat" for the Quaker college and its ideals.Bowen's remarks to an audience of about 2,800 that gave him a standing ovation added a new twist to commencement speaker controversies playing out increasingly on college campuses across the nation. Bowen faced no opposition, but chose to defend a fellow speaker who was targeted, calling the situation "sad" and "troubling." ...

Full story at

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