Friday, May 24, 2013

Why Commencement Speakers Are Chosen

The university delayed announcement of the 2013 commencement speakers until nearly the end of final exams, finally revealing a lineup that some find underwhelming. While those receiving honorary degrees Saturday are likely deserving, the Georgetown community also deserves a selection process that is transparent and timely.

Each of Georgetown’s schools has its own graduation ceremony and commencement speaker. The process for securing speakers can take as long as eight months, yet the university released the news May 9. Other colleges announced their commencement guests months before graduation — Howard University and The George Washington University in March, the University of Virginia in January.
We have commended Georgetown in the past for finding speakers tailored to each undergraduate school’s academic focus. Yet the university hurts its cause by making these selections entirely in the dark. That is made even worse when news of the speakers breaks hardly a week before graduation, giving people little time to digest and appreciate the choices. It would not be appropriate to have students vote on speaker options, and the reasoning behind these choices as it currently stands might be entirely sound. A simple explanation from the university of why commencement speakers are chosen would benefit everyone involved.
Link (here) to The Hoya

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