Phi Beta Cons

Happy Graduation

The commencement season, which is often controversial, has caused a few sparks this year. NBC journalist Ann Curry confused Wheaton College in Massachusetts (where she spoke) with Wheaton College in Illinois (whose alumni she cited). Al Gore offered what some pundits called an “inspiring” speech that also grimly laid out the dire consequences of global warming (even as the public is increasingly skeptical about them). And Sandra K. Soto was booed for a highly political statement about the new Arizona immigration law.

Young Americans for Freedom reports that of the 100 “top” universities surveyed, Obama-administration officials spoke at nine. That is just for 2010. Only 14 administration officials addressed graduates in the entire eight years of the Bush administration, the report says.

Even so, the Pope Center’s Jenna Robinson, compiling a list of speakers at 25 North Carolina colleges, found that on the whole, most speakers were not political. Last year, the list looked like a Who’s Who of the Democratic party; this time around, it was mostly academics, business executives, and a few celebrities. Way to go!

Jane S. ShawJane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...

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