Published: Mon, May 22, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Pence delivers commencement address at Grove College

Pence delivers commencement address at Grove College

This year - despite months of speculation on whether or not the University would invite President Donald Trump - Vice President Mike Pence, the former Governor of IN, was selected to address the class of 2017 at Sunday's Commencement ceremony as the graduates go forward into the next stage of their lives.

For example, in both speeches, Pence urged the graduating students to become leaders in various walks of life, and he asked them to stand up, "catch the eye of a loved one's in the crowd" and thank them for their support through college.

"Remember now, people follow people they respect", he said.

"Even those who disagree with Mike Pence recognize him as a man of principle".

"Father Jenkins, Board of Trustees, distinguished members of the faculty, my fellow honorees, guests, grandparents, parents, family and friends gathered here", Pence began after most protesters had cleared out and boos had died down.

CBS News noted that Notre Dame alumni have donated about 500 rainbow flags to be distributed to the graduates.

"That dream came back around", said Pence, and he was eventually successful and able to serve in Congress, then serve as governor of in and now has the privilege as serving as vice president of the United States.

"[Pence has], in the past, been against same-sex marriage because it harms people, which is demonstrably false and really offensive", he said.

Pence, the former governor of IN, was invited to speak after Notre Dame students and faculty protested the prospect of President Donald Trump being invited to become the seventh US president to give the commencement address.

"I think it's vitally important to come out and support people in rural Western Pennsylvania who have come out to have their voices heard", said protester Cheryl Lessin, of Cleveland.

But the choice of Pence and having him on campus make students feel unsafe, claimed Notre Dame senior Imanne Mondane.

None of the graduates walked out or made any other public displays of protest when Pence was introduced, during his speech or when he received an honorary degree. Off-campus demonstrations are being planned by We Go High!, South Bend Equality, and the Michiana Alliance for Democracy.

"We're not concerned", Browne said.

They targeted the former IN governor's views on abortion, gay rights, gun control and immigration. "All you have to add to it is courage".

Ricketts also said the university administration has not resisted their protest.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump let stand an Obama-era order protecting the rights of some LGBT workers, and was widely regarded as being more accepting of LGBTQ issues than his running mate.

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