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After Student And Alumni Outrage, Xavier Cancels Commencement Speech Of Pro-Israel UN Ambassador

After Student And Alumni Outrage, Xavier Cancels Commencement Speech Of Pro-Israel UN Ambassador

Xavier

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Mission to the United Nations website

Xavier University of Louisiana has canceled the commencement speech by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. The reversal came in response to vocal opposition from some students and alumni, citing disagreements with the ambassador’s past stances on international conflicts, particularly regarding the situation in Gaza.

Initially heralded as a prestigious choice for guest speaker, Thomas-Greenfield’s invitation quickly stirred controversy among segments of the Xavier, a Historically Black University, community. Students and alumni expressed concerns over what they perceived as the ambassador’s alignment with the U.S. government’s positions on the war in Gaza, ABC News reported.

The decision to rescind the invitation was announced by University President Reynold Verret. In an email to faculty, staff, and students, Verret stated that the university remains committed to fostering a commencement ceremony free from disruptions.

“Everyone’s goal is to have a commencement ceremony that appropriately honors the graduates and their achievements,” Verret wrote. “The vast majority of students want to be able to enjoy a commencement ceremony free of disruptions. Therefore, we will not be moving forward with the commencement speaker as originally planned.”

In response to the cancellation, Thomas-Greenfield expressed understanding of student protests but condemned any form of violence or disruption.

“I want the students to know that they are being heard,” she said in an interview with Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA. “Demonstrations are a part of our history. And that is something we all support. Violent demonstrations are another story.”

“We are grateful that President Verret actually listened to our call,” Student Government Association President Chase Patterson told Nola.com. “This does make me optimistic that students will continue to support us and we will continue to support them and that the administration will continue to listen to us.”

Patterson had written a letter to administrators calling on them to cancel the invite.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Mission to the United Nations website, https://usun.usmission.gov/our-leaders/our-ambassador/