Condoleezza Rice Pulls Out Of Rutgers Commencement After Students Protest

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In light of protesting by faculty and students, Condoleezza Rice has pulled out of delivering the 2014 commencement address at Rutgers University.

MUST READ: Rutgers Students Protest Condoleezza Rice’s Commencement Speech

The former Secretary of State informed President Robert Barchi that she was declining the invitation in a statement Saturday. “Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families,” she said of the May 18th ceremony. “Rutgers’ invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.”

As we reported earlier, a group at the New Jersey university staged a sit-in to protest Condoleezza’s invitation because her involvement with the Iraq War. In response, she said “I am honored to have served my country.”

“I have defended America’s belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas. These values are essential to the health of our democracy. But that is not what is at issue here,” the former National Security Advisor explained. “As a Professor for thirty years at Stanford University and as it’s former Provost and Chief academic officer, I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way.”

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She concluded, “Good luck to the graduates and congratulations to the families, friends and loved ones who will gather to honor them.”

Do you think Condoleezza Rice did the right thing? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comment section below.

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