Local News

NCSU Chancellor Responds To Criticism Of Donahue's Commencement Address

Posted May 21, 2003 6:25 a.m. EDT

— A commencement adress that some say crossed the line is still the buzz at North Carolina State.

Talk show host Phil Donahue gave the school's commencement address over the weekend. Several students walked out in protest, right in the middle of graduation.

Donahue talked about keeping organized prayer out of the classroom, racial profiling and traditionally democratic positions.

N.C. State's chancellor said that, although the political comments were unexpected, the speech gave students a last-minute challenge.

"Provocative speeches are what academia does," Mary Anne Fox said, "and being able to hear both sides on any issue and use the skills that you've developed as an undergraduate or graduate student at N.C. State.

"To accept or reject on the basis of one's values, I think, is an important part of our education."

Phil Donahue won nine Emmys during his talk's show 26-year run.