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Notre Dame: no decision yet about inviting Trump as a commencement speaker

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/05/16

From the student newspaper:

The country is starting to look forward and examine the implications of Donald Trump’s victory — and for University President Fr. John Jenkins, that means pondering what the election means for Notre Dame. In an interview with The Observer on Thursday, Jenkins said he is considering inviting the President-elect to speak at this year’s Commencement ceremony. “I do think the elected leader of the nation should be listened to. And it would be good to have that person on the campus — whoever they are, whatever their views,” he said. “At the same time, the 2009 Commencement was a bit of a political circus, and I think I’m conscious that that day is for graduates and their parents — and I don’t want to make the focus something else.” Traditionally, the University has invited presidents to speak at graduation during their first year in White House. In 2009, President Barack Obama was the sixth president to deliver the Commencement address, following in the steps of Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Jenkins said he plans to select a Commencement speaker sometime during the spring semester. Right now, he’s still weighing the different factors involved. “My concern a little bit is that, should the new president come, it may be even more of a circus,” he said. This election spurred levels political acrimony higher than Jenkins said he remembers in the past. “I think it’s fair to say the election reveals deep divides in this nation — divides on political views, on economic prospects, educational differences, differences in opportunities,” he said. “And they run deep in the country.”

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