Condi Rice bows out; Rutgers looking for new commencement speaker
Rutgers University says it's looking for a new commencement speaker now that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has bowed out.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi said Saturday that the university "stands fully behind the invitation to Dr. Rice to be our commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree."
"We respect her decision not to participate in the upcoming Rutgers University commencement, which she clearly articulated in her statement this morning," Barchi said in a statement.
Many in the Rutgers community were upset that Rice was slated to speak at the 2014 commencement because of her defense of the Iraq war.
Earlier this year, Barchi acknowledged that the university has "even heard from high school students who have written to say that they would withdraw their Rutgers applications if we rescind-or fail to rescind-our invitation to her."