June 23, 2017

Graduates walk out on Pence at Notre Dame commencement

22 May 2017, 01:58 | Tami Weber

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame broke with their longstanding tradition of inviting the president to deliver the commencement address during his first year in office, seemingly trying to avoid potential controversy surrounding Trump, and invited Pence instead.

Criticism will come with the territory, he said.

Pence told the graduates that he believes they are graduating from an exceptional university and encouraged them to "be exceptional". Thousands of students and faculty members signed a petition asking Notre Dame's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, not to invite President Donald Trump, and the university chose instead to invite Pence, a former IN governor.

On Saturday, Pence was the commencement speaker at Grove City College, a private, Christian liberal arts school in Pennsylvania.

Jaskowski said he hopes those protesting Pence's invitation still listen to what the vice president has to say. Elizabeth Dole, but no Democrats.

Pence's appearance at the commencement drew throngs of protesters outside the campus, and spurred a sizable walkout by graduates.

"I'm supportive of the president in the VP as an American", he added, "but everyone has the right as an American to question authority".

The protesters couldn't be seen or heard from the commencement ceremony in the college's Quad.

Bryan Ricketts, who served as Notre Dame's student body president from 2015-16 and graduated Sunday with a dual-degree in political science and chemical engineering, was one of the leaders. We StaND For said Pence's stance on the LGBTQ community, undocumented immigrants, and sanctuary cities factored into their decision to walk out from his speech. Powers wasn't one of them.

When Vice President Mike Pence delivers a graduation speech at Notre Dame's May 21 ceremony, a number of students are expected to stand up and leave in protest.

It's not just Republican presidents either. He spoke of U.S. President Donald Trump as his friend and an an example of leadership.

"We are proud to welcome the vice president and we are thankful that our graduates will have the opportunity to bear witness to his deep and abiding faith, quiet humility, and compelling leadership in challenging times", Grove City President Paul J. McNulty said in a statement. "The day went off without a hitch". Standing feet away from Pence, he told anecdotes of experiences with Syrian refugees, called for freedom of religion and equal rights.

"Nothing worth doing ever came easy", Pence said.

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