During President Obama’s first term, it was announced by the end of March that the president would be speaking at three commencement ceremonies: University of Notre Dame, Arizona State University and the United States Naval Academy.
This time around, though, President Trump has revealed that he only has plans to speak at Liberty University’s commencement ceremony. The conservative Christian university in Lynchburg, VA was also where Sen. Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for presidency in 2015.
Why isn’t President Trump welcome on college campuses?
It has been a long-standing tradition since President Kennedy for presidents to deliver commencement addresses at graduation ceremonies. On average, presidents deliver three commencement addresses annually. In fact, President Obama delivered 24 commencement addresses during his two-term presidency.
President Obama was the sixth president to speak at Notre Dame University’s commencement ceremony, but it seems Notre Dame will not be continuing the tradition and has instead invited Vice President Mike Pence to deliver the commencement address.
Notre Dame President John Jenkins said it was fitting for the university to recognize “a native son who served our state and now the nation with quiet earnestness, moral conviction and a dedication to the common good characteristic of true statesmen.”
The university did not comment to Inside Higher Ed whether they had given President Trump consideration to speak at the event.
“Notre Dame only announces commencement speakers who have accepted our offer to speak at commencement. We don’t announce or speculate on who else may or may not have been invited or considered,” a spokesman told the publication via email.
President Trump has faced significant backlash since even before he assumed the presidency. With university administrations criticizing President Trump’s executive orders on transgender bathrooms and immigration to protests against conservative speakers on campus, college culture is not friendly to conservative ideology — or figureheads.
What do you think about President Trump not being welcomed at major universities around the United States? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
(H/T The College Fix)