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May 3: Open forum on Commencement speaker selection

IMPORTANT: The location has changed since the original announcement was distributed. The forum will be held in Merrill Learning Center B111.

May 3, 2019

Dear Campus Community:

Since the announcement of Representative Tom Cole as the 2019 commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree, faculty, staff, and students have shared a myriad of emotions, including concern, confusion, and disappointment. At the request of members of our community, Faculty governance leaders have agreed to lead a forum to recognize these feelings and provide an opportunity for our community to discuss this year’s selection for commencement speaker and how we can improve the engagement and transparency of our community in future selection processes for commencement speaker(s) and honorary degree recipients.

We invite you to join us today from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in Merrill Learning Center B111 to participate in an open forum. The forum will be moderated by Jonathan McMillan of the Department of Art, Communication, and Theatre and Felicia Williams of the Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. President Cordano will give opening remarks and then listen to the views and experiences of our community. Every effort will be made to create a space of understanding, support, and empathy.  

We are committed to supporting our community through this shared journey in a way that honors the values of freedom of expression, diversity, equity, and belonging, as well as our collective growth and learning. Please join us today.


William T. Ennis III
Chair, University Faculty

Christi Batamula
Vice Chair, University Faculty

Kari Hansen
Secretary, University Faculty

Posted by Andrew Greenman | Posted April 30, 2019 at 1:25 PM


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002