Over 20 seniors boycott graduation
Ashley Charnley | Sunday, May 17, 2009
Some 20 plus graduating seniors – dressed in their graduation robes – gathered behind the podium at the Grotto for the Class of 2009 Vigil For Life to protest President Barack Obama’s Commencement speech and honorary degree as part of a series of demonstration events organized Sunday.
Members of ND Response, a coalition of 11 student opposed to the invitation, gathered with a few hundred other supporters on South Quad at Notre Dame for a rally where pro-life speakers addressed supporters before moving to the Grotto for the vigil.
The event was described as “a rally affirming the uniquely Catholic and pro-life foundation” of the University, according to a press release from the group.
Speakers at the rally included Notre Dame alumni Fr. John J. Raphael, principal of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, La.; Elizabeth Naquin Borger, former chair of the board of the Woman’s Care Center; Fr. Wilson Miscamble, a professor of history at Notre Dame; Lacy Dodd, who also serves on the board of directors of the Room at the Inn in Charlotte, N.C.; and David Solomon, professor of philosophy and director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture.
During the vigil, Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, led the rosary with the help of the graduating seniors who attended the gathering. One of the seniors who helped lead the prayer was holding a baby behind the podium.
The graduates all had gold crosses on their caps with baby feet on either side of the bottom to symbolize their pro-life stance. Also, some of the crowd – made up of families, students and alumni – were holding stop-sign-shaped signs that read “Stop Abortion Now.”