SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) – It was business as usual at Springfield’s Symphony hall this morning as 159 students graduated from Western New England University’s School of Law despite the absence of a keynote speaker.
Earlier this week, Lois Lerner – Director of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations Division – backed out of giving the speech after the agency admitted it unfairly scrutinized conservative groups when they applied for tax-exempt status.
“She made the call to us and expressed the fact that this was a graduation and a graduation is supposed to be a time of celebration and energy and the publicity would detract from that,” said Barbara Moffat, VP of Marketing at WNEU. “While commencement speakers are a time honored tradition, the real important part is when that student walks across the stage.”
Moffat says this won’t deter Western New England University from asking a government official to speak at commencement ceremonies in the future.