• Leftist Speakers Dominate Commencement Ceremonies Nationwide

    Condoleezza Rice made headlines recently when leftist students and faculty at Rutgers University threatened to disrupt graduation ceremonies if the former secretary of state delivered a commencement address as planned. Unfortunately, had she not declined the invitation, Rice would join only nine other conservative commencement speakers this year.

    Despite a commitment to intellectual diversity and the tolerance of ideas that universities often boast in their mission statements and classrooms, a patronage to progressive ideologues has become undeniably evident each year during the nationwide selection of commencement speakers.

    After researching the ideological causes speakers have publicly supported either through public office, speaking, writing, or financial contributions, Young America’s Foundation’s 22nd annual “Commencement Speakers Survey,” determined that 43 liberals and only 9 conservatives were scheduled to deliver commencement speeches at the nation’s top 100 universities this year as listed by U.S. News and World Report.

    The 43 liberal speakers include party leaders like President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen. Additionally, one of the most liberal college campuses, the University of California-Berkeley, will proudly host House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in what is likely to be more of a worship service than a commencement address.

    Furthermore, elite members of the liberal media like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and the former New York Times’ Executive Editor Jill Abramson will be delivering speeches while personalities from the Wall Street Journal – the top U.S. newspaper by circulation – and Fox News – the number-one ranked cable news station – were entirely absent from the list.

    Unfortunately, this partiality toward leftist speakers serves to perpetuate the liberal indoctrination that has already flooded higher education.

    As Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly wrote this time last year, “there is no shortage of intellect or accomplishment on the right. The reason few conservative speakers are invited [to be commencement speakers] is that college administrators are frightened by radical-left students and faculty.”

    If universities nationwide truly value intellectual diversity, the Left’s intolerance and bullying of Condoleezza Rice and others should not deter future administrators from inviting conservative icons to commencement ceremonies.

    Instead, colleges should buck the trend and remind students and faculty that only welcoming speakers who echo their beliefs is entirely antithetical to very idea of true intellectual diversity.

    Gabriella Morrongiello

    Gabriella Morrongiello is studying political science and journalism at The George Washington University. She was founding chairwoman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Oregon State University. Her work has often been featured on Fox News and the Drudge Report.

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