Ben Stein withdraws as commencement speaker at University of Vermont

University of Vermont, founded in 1791 is the fifth oldest university in New England (after Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown). The first university to admit women and African-Americans into Phi Beta Kappa honor society and the first institution of higher education to declare public support for freedom of religion*.

See, Ben Stein, actor, lawyer, economist, game show host, law school professor, presidential speech writer, Emmy Award winner, and believer in Intelligent Design has withdrawn from the summer 2009 commencement speech at UV. Mr. Stein was invited to deliver a speech about a financial topic.

UVM President Daniel Fogel said he chose Stein based on the warm response to a lecture he gave on campus last spring. Fogel said, however, he was deluged with e-mail messages from people offended by Stein’s views of science.

"I did not ask him not to come," he said. "I was not going to let him be blind-sided by controversy."

Apparently, in Vermont, a state steeped in tradition of self reliance, having the state motto of “Freedom and Unity” has no value when surrounded by the halls of academia. Sure, this is nothing new, just ask Karl Rove or Dick Cheney, but they are polarizing figures of government. And all because Stein follows the intelligent design philosophy. It is without any doubt in my mind that the principals of thought has been lost completely at this point.

Ben Stein replied:

[He] described the brouhaha over his selection as commencement speaker at the University of Vermont as "laughable" on Tuesday called the whole episode “pathetic.”…Stein said he has spoken at many universities, including Columbia, Yale, Stanford, and American University, “and no one has said boo. Somehow at UVM, it has become a big issue.”

As far as I can tell this is the first commencement speaker “run out of town” for the 2009 graduation season; and it’s only February.



Canceled in 2009

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