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Sat May 11, 2024, 08:15 PM May 11

VCU Graduates Walk Out During Gov. Youngkin Commencement Address

May 11 (UPI) -- Dozens of graduating students protested Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's commencement address by walking out during Virginia Commonwealth University's commencement Saturday morning.

About 100 of the university's 1,200 graduating class members walked out of the Greater Richmond Convention Center as Youngkin delivered the commencement address, The Washington Post estimated. The graduates were protesting Youngkin's support for breaking up campus protests, his opinions regarding LGBTQ+ rights and his opposition to a proposal requiring VCU students to complete a racial literacy course.

Several students objected to Youngkin delivering the university's commencement address during a recent Board of Visitors meeting and sought his removal from the commencement program, WTVR-TV in Richmond reported. "VCU has a bipartisan tradition of inviting gubernatorial speakers to commencement," one student told board members. "But progress has never been made without challenging tradition."

Many of those students were members of the university's NAACP chapter, an ad hoc "Not Welcome at VCU" group and other student organizations. Many other colleges and universities across the country have graduation ceremonies scheduled Saturday, including at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Texas at Austin...

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