Ideological imbalance among commencement speakers alive and well, even amid pandemic

  • A recent report by the Young America’s Foundation found only one elected Republican commencement speaker at the 100 top universities in the United States.
  • The commencement speaker line-up also includes noble leftist business, entertainment, and media personnel.

Of the 100 top universities in the United States, only one chose a Republican commencement speaker in spring 2020, according to a report published by the Young America’s Foundation.

This year’s commencement speaker line-up included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Northwestern University), House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (University of Maryland), Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (Colorado School of Mines), and New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (New Jersey Institute of Technology). 

Among the elected officials who delivered commencement addresses at these universities, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was the only Republican.

[RELATED: Graduation canceled...except for 'students of color' and 'LGBTQIA+' students]

Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump was invited to speak at Wichita State University Tech but did not ultimately speak amid backlash. She was the only member of the Trump administration to be invited as a commencement speaker at the nation's top 100 universities in 2020.

[RELATED: Ivanka Trump falls victim to 'cancel culture']

Other notable 2020 commencement speakers include actor George Takei (University of California-Los Angeles), comedian Ken Jeong (Duke University), Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (Johns Hopkins University), and Apple CEO Tim Cook (Ohio State University), and Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron (Harvard University). 

The lack of ideological diversity in graduation ceremonies was also seen in YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” virtual commencement. 

While there were some conservative voices, such as Condoleezza Rice, represented, the speakers were dominated by leftists such as Barack and Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Antoni Porowski, and Lizzo.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: Alyssa Rinelli



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Alyssa Rinelli
Alyssa Rinelli | Minnesota Campus Correspondent

Alyssa Rinelli is a Minnesota Campus Correspondent for Campus Reform. She is a Senior at the University of Minnesota and studies Business with a focus in Supply Chain and Operations Management and Management Information Systems. She is involved with Women in Business and College Republicans on campus.

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