President Bush wins “man about campus” honors this year, delivering commencement addresses to students and cadets of, to name several, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College at Perkinston, Oklahoma State University, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Tulane University in New Orleans.
Students at the latter institution, in fact, will be treated to not one, but a pair of graduation-day addresses on May 13, the second delivered by former President Bill Clinton. (There is no truth to the rumor that Mr. Clinton has been adopted by the Bush family.)
First lady Laura Bush will appear before Vanderbilt University’s senior class, as well as graduates of Roger Williams College in Rhode Island. But top honors for the most creative graduation ceremony go to George Washington University, which will welcome on stage both former President Bush and his wife, Barbara, for a “commencement co-address,” if you will.
Other notable 2006 speakers from the political arena include former North Carolina senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards, a Democrat, who will resurface at the University of Maine; his running mate, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, a guest of Kenyon College in Ohio; retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who will appear at the University of Texas at Austin; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell at Arlington’s Marymount University; Arizona Sen. John McCain at Jerry Falwell‘s Liberty University; Illinois Sen. Barack Obama as guest of Northwestern University; and former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, who sounds off at Southern Methodist University.
From the pulpit, Australia’s most prominent church leader, George Cardinal Pell, will join Christendom College’s graduating class of 2006 in Front Royal, Va., while Washington Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick will be welcomed to Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is honored guest of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg.
Crashing Fort Lauderdale this spring break will be Salman Rushdie, author of “The Satanic Verses,” appearing no doubt under tight security at Nova Southeastern University. Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw is off to Florida State University, while Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan is to grace the beautiful campus of High Point University in North Carolina.
From the Fourth Estate, columnist Robert D. Novak hopefully will expand on the CIA-leak case during his remarks to students of Thomas More College in Kentucky. And last but never least, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will address esteemed graduates of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, this columnist’s alma mater, which will confer an honorary doctorate of humane letters on “The Situation Room” host.
Speaking of William & Mary, we understand that retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is settling nicely into her new job as college chancellor.
More than 750 students gathered in Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall in recent days to welcome Mrs. O’Connor to the campus, relays Brian Whitson of the W&M News.
Indeed, the newly retired justice made news by telling students of her “disappointment” that President Bush did not replace her on the Supreme Court with another woman.
“I was disappointed to see the percentage of women on the court drop by 50 percent,” Mrs. O’Connor stated. “It was so much better when two women were on the court instead of just one. It was sad to see us lose so much ground with that, and I hope gender will be a consideration for future appointments.”
Mrs. O’Connor became the court’s first-ever female justice in 1981, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993.
Meet the Beetles
Number of beetles that right-wing entomologists have named after Bush administration officials: 3
— Harper’s Index, May 2006
John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or email@example.com.