Friday, May 4, 2018

A year after being booed, Betsy DeVos comes back to Florida for another commencement speech

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2018 at 2:26 PM

  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
A year after getting booed to oblivion at Bethune-Cookman University, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is coming back to Florida for another round.

The Naples Daily News reports DeVos will be giving a commencement speech this weekend during a graduation ceremony for Ave Maria University, a private Catholic school in Southwest Florida. Predictably, a group of 36 Ave Maria graduates has already called on the university to rescind its invitation to DeVos.

"A liberal arts institution, especially one of a Catholic character, must be free of political indoctrination to be the proper marketplace of ideas for its members," the alumni said in a letter, according to the Daily News. "Mrs. DeVos’s policies are callous and unjust towards marginalized persons."

Back in 2017, the billionaire GOP donor was criticized for saying that historically black colleges and universities founded during racial segregation were the "real pioneers" of "school choice." During DeVos' commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, the Trump-appointed education secretary was met with boos and turned backs.

More than 100 Ave Maria alumni came to DeVos' defense in a second letter published Thursday, according to the Daily News.

"Having someone of Mrs. DeVos’ stature on campus is an opportunity for the school to advance its unique Catholic mission and extend its positive influence into the political community, including the current administration," the letter said.

In the meantime, let's all watching the booing again.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 3, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation