Tags: | Rudy Giuliani | commencement | John Fisher | faculty

Giuliani to Speak at NY Graduation Despite Faculty's Opposition

Image: Giuliani to Speak at NY Graduation Despite Faculty's Opposition
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By    |   Monday, 04 May 2015 06:53 AM

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will deliver the commencement address at the St. John Fisher College graduation ceremony Saturday despite opposition from faculty members, The Daily Caller reported.

Some 1,200 students will graduate, including 350 master and doctoral students. The liberal arts college is based in Pittsford, outside Rochester, in upstate New York and was founded in 1948 by the Catholic order of Basilian Fathers.

The 49 faculty members — out of about 460 — who signed a petition against conferring an honorary degree of doctor of laws to Giuliani as well as having him make the keynote speech to the graduates argued that he represented values that were contrary to those of the college. "Mr. Giuliani has unfortunately shrunk to become a highly controversial, divisive ideologue," they wrote.

Marc Pape, an associate professor in the modern languages and cultures department and a petition signatory told WHEC in Rochester, "I just feel a little bit unease by the fact that I have to listen to someone who I don't think, especially his recent comments, reflects of the values, that I, and the values that the institution stands for."

Jill Swiencicki, an associate professor of English who teaches women and gender studies and led the petition drive said, "The racially charged speech of late is really in conflict with Fisher's core mission and creed," according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

Giuliani has said of President Barack Obama: "I do not believe the president loves America. He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."

The petitioners said Giuliani's remarks demonized his political opponents and that he had also been "disparaging" of "African-American communities and crime," according to the Caller.

College President Donald Bain stood by the school's decision to honor the former mayor and implied that his speech would not be of a political nature. Some 70 students signed a counter-petition stating that they wanted to hear what the ex-mayor had to say about 9/11.

Giuliani, who is Catholic, was New York City mayor from 1994 to Dec. 31, 2001, and oversaw the city's handling of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 before withdrawing.

Since leaving office, Giuliani has made millions of dollars as a speaker, consultant, and law firm partner.

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Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will deliver the commencement address at the St. John Fisher College graduation ceremony on May 9 despite opposition from faculty members, The Daily Caller reported.
Rudy Giuliani, commencement, John Fisher, faculty
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2015-53-04
Monday, 04 May 2015 06:53 AM
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