The Cardinal Newman Society reports that it has received an email from a Georgetown University spokesman clarifying that Kathleen Sebelius – who had been listed among this year’s commencement speakers on the university’s website – “is not speaking at Georgetown’s commencement. She is speaking at Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s annual student and faculty awards event.”
The email from Georgetown’s Rachel Pugh continues:
Georgetown has 28 ceremonies to honor the achievements of our graduates and our faculty. We have 10 official commencement ceremonies to award degrees for the different schools within the university, and 18 other awards ceremonies to honor student and faculty achievements. We do not have one main commencement speaker. The GPPI ceremony is one event during commencement weekend, but it is not a commencement ceremony (degrees are not conferred).
At this event, GPPI Public policy Institute will give end-of-the-year awards, several students speak, the Dean will speak, and GPPI will give awards to a faculty member and an alumni.
Georgetown’s original announcement of its 2012 commencement speakers has been edited on the university’s website (revised version here; original version here). In the new version Sebelius is listed under “Speakers at Other Events” rather than the original heading “Speakers at Other Commencement Ceremonies.” The event at which Sebelius will be speaking has also been identified as the “Georgetwon Public Policy Institute Tropaia” in the revised version.
Since the announcement that Sebelius would be speaking at Georgetown on May 18, more than 14,000 people have signed the Cardinal Newman Society’s petition to university president John DeGioia asking him to rescind the invitation to Sebelius.