Liberal Speakers Dominate 2009 Commencements Across America

By Michael W. Chapman | May 20, 2009 | 5:17 PM EDT

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, the 2009 commencement speaker at George Washington University

( – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will give the commencement speech at Johns Hopkins University on Thursday. That Pelosi, a liberal Democrat, is speaking at the school should come as no surprise as a new report shows that liberals dominate as speakers at the top colleges and universities in America while only five recognizable conservatives have been chosen as commencement speakers this year.

One conservative was even dis-invited as a commencement speaker after his invitation to speak became public, according to the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which released its report on Wednesday.

“For the past 16 years--the time period Young America’s Foundation has been keeping tabs--a disproportionate number of commencement speakers at our nation’s top colleges and universities have been liberal ideologues, big donors to liberal causes, and members of the ‘drive-by’ media," YAF said in a statement on Wednesday.
The YAF report details who spoke (or is scheduled to speak) at the commencement exercises this spring at America’s top colleges and universities, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
Some of the recognizably liberal luminaries and where they are speaking include the following:
President Barack Obama, Notre Dame
Vice President Joe Biden, Wake Forest University
Hillary Clinton, New York University
Rahm Emanuel, George Washington University
Matt Lauer, Harvard University
Katie Couric, Princeton University
Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane University
Deval Patrick,  governor of Massachusetts, MIT
Steven Chu, secretary of Energy Department, California Institute of Technology
Oprah Winfrey, Duke University
Wynton Marsalis, Northwestern University
Vicente Fox, Emory University
Gwen Ifill, Georgetown University
Suze Orman, University of Illinois
Tom Brokaw, Fordham University
For the complete list of speakers at the top colleges and universities, click here.

In contrast to the amended list above, only five recognizable conservatives were selected to speak at the nation’s top colleges this year. They were as follows:
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Miami University
Laura Bush, Southern Methodist University
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), University of Georgia
Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, University of Virginia
U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Morris Arnold, University of Arkansas
Actor and director Ben Stein, who is conservative, was invited to speak at the University of Vermont but then the invitation was rescinded apparently because his views on Intelligent Design upset the faculty there, said YAF.
The group reported that the president of the University of Vermont decided to replace Stein with a more “neutral” speaker--Howard Dean, former head of the Democratic National Committee.
In the case of Judge Wilkinson, some campus opponents reportedly accused him of being in favor of “discrimination” because he supports judicial restraint over judicial activism, said YAF.
None of the leading conservative voices in America are speaking at the nation’s top colleges this year. This includes conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.).

“Colleges and university administrators love to boast about how ‘diverse’ their institutions are, from diversity pledges, diversity deans, diversity classes, to diverse student bodies,” said YAF in its statement. “But when it comes to diverse viewpoints, well, these schools say no thanks. Such imbalance is especially shameful at a time when students demonstrate a strong desire to see more conservatives on campus. John Ashcroft, Ann Coulter, Ben Stein, Chuck Norris, and Michelle Malkin all drew thousands of students and standing-room only crowds at several colleges and universities this past year.”

“Unfortunately, commencement ceremonies once again look like another dose of leftist indoctrination rather than a fresh start for the class of 2009,” said YAF.
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman