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Condoleezza Rice Backs Out Of Rutgers Commencement After Protests

(credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for TIME)

(credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for TIME)

udo_justin DL Justin Udo
Justin Udo is a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060. Ju...
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By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After multiple protests from students and faculty over her scheduled appearance to deliver the commencement address at Rutgers University, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided not to do it.

A lot of people at Rutgers did not want Rice to deliver the address because of her role in Iraq war as a member of the Bush administration.

On Saturday morning, Rice informed Rutgers that her involvement with the day had become a distraction for the university community at a time of a joyous celebration for the graduates and their families, so she is declining to speak.

Rutgers University President Robert Barchi issued the following statement in response to Rice’s decision.

“While Rutgers University stands fully behind the invitation to Dr. Rice to be our commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree, we respect the decision she made and clearly articulated in her statement this morning,” said Barchi. “Now is the time to focus on our commencement, a day to celebrate the accomplishments and promising futures of our graduates. We look forward to joining them and their families on May 18, 2014.”

Rutgers has not yet named a replacement speaker for their commencement ceremony, but Barchi says more details will be announced in the coming days.

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