While graduation went off with nary a hitch at my institution today (though I miss having a senior class president with the thoughtful eloquence of one I heard a couple of years ago), other institutions aren’t so fortunate.
Take St. Vincent College, for example. Having invited President Bush to speak, Jim Towey (now "Mr. President" to his former boss) received a public rebuke from one of his predecessors (who, as Towey pointed out in his response, hadn’t been so fastidious about inviting Herbert Aptheker, chairman of the CPUSA, to campus during his tenure). There was some consternation on campus, but it was mild in comparison to what might have occurred on a campus less informed by a tradition of hospitality.
The President’s speech--a model of commencement oratory, in my unfortunately all too well-informed opinion--showed great respect for the occasion and the audience, more than a good many of my colleagues across the country (and their students) would show for the office and the man.