It seems the Condoleezza Rice debacle at Rutgers left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Timothy Egan of the New York Times writes.

The Commencement Bigots

It’s commencement season, cellphones off please, no texts or tweets. Even with a hangover from debt, alcohol or regret, grads across the land may be lucky enough to hear something on the Big Day that actually stays with them.

Among the best of the past were the words of the novelist David Foster Wallace, talking to the newly minted at Kenyon College in 2005. If you can’t learn to “construct meaning from experience,” he said, “you will be totally hosed.”

There was Steve Jobs, college dropout, at Stanford in the same year, on mortality: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” And don’t forget the lasting guidance from Stephen Colbert at Knox College in 2006: “The best career advice I can give you is to get your own TV show. It pays well, the hours are good, and you are famous. And eventually, some very nice people will give you a doctorate in fine arts for doing jack squat.”

This year, there’s the remarkable life story of the African-American scholar who grew up in the segregated South and rose to become secretary of state. Didn’t hear that one? Nobody did. Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to give the 248th anniversary commencement address at Rutgers University this coming Sunday. She canceled after a small knot of protesters pressured the university. It’s no contest who showed more class.

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The Commencement Bigots (The New York Times)