4-to-1: Liberals Outnumber Conservatives as Commencement Speakers

By Michael Morris | May 21, 2018 | 10:28am EDT
Former President Jimmy Carter spoke at the commencement ceremony for Liberty University. (Screenshot)

Liberals outnumber conservatives by a margin of nearly four-to-one among 2018 commencement speakers at 50 of the nation’s largest public and private colleges.

According to the Campus Reform report, “Campus Reform identified 37 speakers with demonstrably liberal leanings, compared to just 10 verified conservatives.” Meanwhile, “[o]nly four speakers” are political moderates – two of which were invited to speak at the same ceremony at the University of Georgia.

“The list of liberals includes several major names, including Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and Cory Booker,” noted Campus Reform. “The conservative speakers, meanwhile, are mainly state-level elected officials.”

Notably, “[c]onservative darling Liberty University” invited former President Jimmy Carter, “perhaps the most prominent liberal on the list,” according to Campus Reform,  to speak at their commencement, while universities with traditionally liberal leanings, “such as New York University, the University of Maryland, and Florida International University, stayed within their comfort zones by selecting uniformly left-leaning speakers.”


New York University invited Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; University of Maryland, College Park invited Al Gore; and Florida International University invited Moishe Mana, Nelson Adams, Rose Ellen Meyerhoff Greene, and Shaun Budnik.

The 10 conservative speakers include Former Speaker of the Florida House Steve Crisafulli, CEO of Times Publishing Company Paul Tash, Professor David L. Denlinger, Senior VP of Penn State Health Judy E. Himes, Texas State Supreme Court Justice James Blacklock, Founder and CEO of the 4R Restaurant Group John Rivers, Former Indiana Governor and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, Speaker of the Texas House Joe Strauss and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

A full listing of the commencement speakers at 50 of the nation’s largest public and private colleges can be found on Campus Reform’s website here.

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