Startling Speech: Graduates Told They’re ‘Immature’, ‘Arrogant’

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HAVERFORD, Pa. (AP) — A commencement speaker has blasted Pennsylvania college students as “immature” and “arrogant” for protesting the original speaker who then decided to withdraw.

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

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.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Bowen said Birgeneau’s withdrawal was a “defeat” for the school.

His address drew a standing ovation.

Birgeneau is one of several commencement speakers who have canceled their appearances this spring amid student protests.

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