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Speaking Out

Disappointed by Selection

I am very disappointed to read that Archbishop Tutu has been selected as the commencement speaker in 2003 (Almanac November 5). If memory does not fail me, he had expressed anti-Israeli sentiment and I would be grateful for evaluation of this fact.

-- Malcolm R. Freedman, C '59, D '64, GM '67


Archbishop Desmond Tutu was selected to receive an honorary degree at Penn and to speak at Commencement in recognition of his profound contributions to human rights and of his visionary leadership in healing a society wracked by injustice and violence. The honor Penn will bestow upon Archbishop Tutu does not imply an endorsement of every one of his public statements, only of his undeniable and fundamental role in ending apartheid in South Africa and overseeing the work of that country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Given the great diversity of the Penn community, it is unlikely that each member will approve of all recipients of the University's honorary degrees. The criterion for selecting the awardees ensures, however, that they are all most worthy of the honor.

-- Leslie Laird Kruhly, Secretary

Speaking Out welcomes reader contributions. Short, timely letters on University issues will be accepted by Thursday at noon for the following Tuesday's issue, subject to right-of-reply guidelines. Advance notice of intention to submit is appreciated. --Eds.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 16, December 17, 2002