The Perils of Picking a Commencement Speaker

Ben Margot, AP Images

The former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice opted out of speaking at Rutgers U. after two months of protests over her selection. The tumult that led to her withdrawal is just the latest lesson in the challenges colleges face in choosing speakers.
May 07, 2014 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

Picking a commencement speaker can be fraught with uncertainty. Colleges and universities want stimulating figures who will challenge and inspire graduates, but too controversial a choice can draw an immediate backlash from students, faculty members...

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