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This May, Vice President Mike Pence is set to deliver two commencement addresses, but students at Taylor University are attempting to get his invitation rescinded.
On Thursday, Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, announced Pence would be a featured speaker at the May 18 ceremony.
“Mr. Pence has been a good friend to the University over many years, and is a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates,” Taylor University President Dr. Paul Lowell Haines said. “We welcome the Vice President and his wife, Karen Pence, to this 173-year-old premier institution of Christian higher education, and thank them for their love and service for our nation, our state, and our institution.”
The school praised Pence for his work as governor of Indiana, by expanding school choice and creating the first state-funded pre-Kindergarten plan in the state’s history.
Given that Pence is a high-profile speaker and the school has a larger-than-usual graduating class, university officials said tickets would be required for admission. Tickets would be given to graduates and their families, although, it wasn’t revealed how many tickets each person would receive.
In response to the announcement, a Change.org petition was created and gathered more than 150 signatures in two hours. It encouraged people to sign and also contact the university by phone to ask that the Vice President’s invitation be rescinded.
“Inviting Vice President Mike Pence to Taylor University makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump Administration’s policies, which we believe are not consistent with an ethic of love,” the petition said.
People who identified as current students and alumni signed the petition, with one person commenting that the upcoming speech made them “ashamed” of their alma mater. Others expressed that they would no longer be supporting the educational institution. Another suggested Democratic presidential candidate Peter Buttigieg would have been a better choice. [HT: JE]