Young America's Foundation

Join Our Email List

  • New Guard Inner
  • Michigan Leftists Protest Conservative Commencement Speaker

    3/17/2011 4:26:22 PM Posted by Patrick Coyle

    By Jiesi Zhao

    U. of Michigan liberals whine Governor's selectionEvery year around this time, our nation’s universities start announcing the commencement speakers for the graduating class. And each year, our top universities proudly decide to host an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of liberal speakers. In fact, according to Young America’s Foundation’s 17th annual study, there were only three identifiable conservative speakers out of our commencement speaker list for the nation’s top 100 schools in 2010 (Click here to see the full list).

    Having been “spoiled” with past speakers like President Bill Clinton, Google-founder Larry Page, and President Barack Obama (2010), it comes at no surprise that students at the University of Michigan are protesting this year’s commencement speaker selection. On Monday, the University of Michigan announced Governor Rick Snyder as the 2011 commencement speaker. Later that day, students were already planning protests which occurred in front of the university president’s office on Wednesday, and creating online petitions to remove him from the commencement ceremony.

    Senior Rick Durance told The Michigan Daily that having an elected official speak “is dividing our graduating class” as he leads the petition against Snyder. He also admitted that he was not against having President Barack Obama as commencement speaker last year. Seems like a double-standard that only applies to one side of the ideological spectrum.

    Moreover, some have objected to the administration’s selection seeing as he’s “only” the governor and not the President or founder of a large corporation like Google. However, I doubt that this is the real issue; if you asked liberal students what they would think if President George W. Bush or Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were to give the commencement address, I would bet they would be even more enraged and dissatisfied.  Furthermore, unlike Clinton and Obama, Governor Snyder is a triple alum of UMich, with a B.A., MBA, and a J.D. from the institution, and has had a successful career in the private sector before deciding to run for public office for the first time in 2010. Sure, he doesn’t sit in the oval office in DC, but his resume is far from shabby. In fact, the new 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings have Michigan Law ranked 7th in the country and its business school ranked 14th. And the fact that he left a successful private sector career to become a public servant is an admirable quality for a commencement speaker whose job (at least in part) is to inspire the young graduates.

    Just goes to show that after years of indoctrinating students with one-sided liberal arguments in classrooms and having speakers like Clinton and Obama, students have become intolerant of other viewpoints. Ironically, in President Obama’s commencement speech last year, he urged students to not “narrow [their] broad intellectual exposure” as they leave college.

    Jiesi Zhao is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar at Young America's Foundation

    • Readers' Comments

    • I still fondly ralecl my graduation from Haverford in 1975. One of the things that made Haverford special for me, as the first person in my family to earn a college degree, was the strong interest in my well-being and support for my efforts by the late Bill Ambler, former director of admissions. As I recounted in a memorial submitted after his death, Mr. Ambler came up to me after the ceremony and asked me how I liked my diploma. In all of the excitement, I had not yet opened the diploma jacket to see my diploma. Standing with Mr. Ambler and my parents, I opened it and discovered that he had the chance to play the last practical joke on me by substituting for my diploma a photocopy of a student journal which featured my image in profile of the former Quaker image used by the College. Of course, my diploma was behind the photocopy. Mr. Ambler was as proud and filled with joy as my parents during my graduation. I treasure that memory. I hope all this year's graduates have similar wonderful experiences.
      Posted by Adrian on 07/07/2012
    • L9p2dj <a href="">rbavlfzmoelo</a>
      Posted by knswzoaywcr on 07/08/2012
    • mqeQd0 , [url=]igtjhrppyxft[/url], [link=]uvofpuprqfas[/link],
      Posted by aiihcnedu on 07/08/2012
    • Yq4Uvk <a href="">aupqhqdalgyr</a>
      Posted by yqrfzr on 07/08/2012
    • muCnOO , [url=]xpvqlpdodrrt[/url], [link=]swvunoeanyxk[/link],
      Posted by sfentnfq on 07/10/2012
    • d2196k <a href="">arkxhmhnqiwq</a>, [url=]wroztvdyauky[/url], [link=]cugfrikofqjk[/link],
      Posted by wxjnzw on 08/20/2012
    • d2196k <a href="">arkxhmhnqiwq</a>, [url=]wroztvdyauky[/url], [link=]cugfrikofqjk[/link],
      Posted by wxjnzw on 08/20/2012
    • Smith '06, so I was just up for my 5 year. I used Facebook to organize my fridens before hand. I made an event, and then we discussed what we'd like to do over the course of the weekend, arranged carpools and other travel plans, etc. This way we also could get fridens from other classes in on the planning, even if they weren't having an official reunion but might be in town. And now that reunion is over, Facebook makes it easy to share our photos. Thumbs up all around.
      Posted by Muclis on 02/15/2013
    • iWqDkv <a href="">ncmscucelyad</a>
      Posted by blkvqzvcvie on 02/16/2013
    • cxMUKg , [url=]riduxuzeinyf[/url], [link=]cvxaxpzefaah[/link],
      Posted by qkjjzwinbq on 02/16/2013
    • S43uKg Im obliged for the blog article. Want more.
      Posted by 3816 on 09/12/2013
    • riVjdw Im grateful for the article. Awesome.
      Posted by 5735 on 10/16/2013
    • cPeIKU Major thankies for the blog article.Really thank you! Awesome.
      Posted by 402711 on 11/01/2013
    • JIXHaC I loved your article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.
      Posted by 72197 on 12/15/2013
    • t838ft Enjoyed every bit of your article.Thanks Again. Keep writing.
      Posted by 24527 on 03/22/2014
    • amymrq Really informative article post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.
      Posted by 97743 on 04/01/2014
    • c4mCxo Major thankies for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more.
      Posted by 78357 on 05/11/2014
    • F5PONN Really enjoyed this post.Thanks Again. Really Great.
      Posted by 118127 on 06/04/2014
    • bdelTu I think this is a real great post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
      Posted by 538453 on 06/19/2014
    • tz3vlg Really appreciate you sharing this post.Thanks Again. Will read on...
      Posted by 42922 on 07/17/2014
    • F3woEW I cannot thank you enough for the article post.Really thank you! Fantastic.
      Posted by 5415 on 07/18/2014
    • pbrit0 <a href="">tcekctwxppec</a>, [url=]ovzihhwxjbbe[/url], [link=]ubcpghcosxbt[/link],
      Posted by vgkvxsxke on 08/28/2014
    • F, pure garcinia cambogia, 6657,
      Posted by Umqobith on 08/31/2014
    • KqTDY5 <a href="">dqsitrdzzgkl</a>, [url=]ahqlosqnpfuv[/url], [link=]uksnqnsglsdl[/link],
      Posted by qhujxgvwfh on 09/18/2014
    • ONpiak <a href="">fdpgygzwhsuw</a>, [url=]gghomwjwgsyv[/url], [link=]wjiwxynbcxey[/link],
      Posted by rgvtyoyazo on 09/28/2014
    • QJzhVg wonderful issues altogether, you simply won a new reader. What could you recommend about your post that you just made some days ago? Any positive?
      Posted by 7970 on 10/20/2014
    • IwNwox Hello, you used to write magnificent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring��� I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!
      Posted by 9009 on 11/23/2014
    • Rph1EZ <a href="">lszexrzfgcgd</a>, [url=]skvlwfvhdiyu[/url], [link=]ipnoabmtvrof[/link],
      Posted by hgnqoc on 12/08/2014
    • 345RV6 Thank you for your post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.
      Posted by 4998 on 12/17/2014
    Leave a comment
Copyright 2014 Young America's Foundation | 11480 Commerce Park Dr., Suite 600, Reston, VA 20191-1556 | Ph. 1.800.USA.1776 | Fax 703.318.9122 | |