College commencement speaker reads students riot act for protesting previous speaker

College commencement speaker reads students riot act for protesting previous speaker

A commencement speaker on Sunday blasted college students as “immature” and “arrogant” for protesting another speaker who then decided to withdraw.

William Bowen, former president of Princeton University, used his commencement speech at Haverford College outside Philadelphia to criticize students who campaigned against Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.

Birgeneau is among several commencement speakers who canceled their appearances this spring amid student protests.

More than 40 students and three professors had protested Birgeneau’s invitation to speak, objecting to his handling of a 2011 incident at Berkeley in which police used force at a student protest during the Occupy movement. The group wanted Birgeneau to apologize, support payments for victims and write a letter to Haverford students explaining his position on the events and “what you learned from them.”

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