The president of the University of Notre Dame is still considering whether to invite President-elect Donald J. Trump to deliver the commencement speech in the spring of 2017, The Observer, the student newspaper, reports.
Traditionally, the university has invited the U.S. president to be the commencement speaker during his first year in office, a custom that stretches back to Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 2009, Barack Obama became the sixth president to take the university up on its offer.
However, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, is a little worried that after a divisive election, Mr. Trump’s presence might make the event chaotic.
“The 2009 Commencement was a bit of a political circus, and I think I’m conscious that that day is for graduates and their parents — and I don’t want to make the focus something else,” Father Jenkins told The Observer. “My concern a little bit is that, should the new president come, it may be even more of a circus.”
However, Father Jenkins said that it would be good to have America’s elected leader on the campus “whoever they are, whatever their views.”
Shortly after the election, The Observer says, Father Jenkins expressed support for the university’s undocumented students and assured them that such support would continue should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program be rescinded, as Mr. Trump has promised.