Betsy DeVos accepted her invitation to speak at Ave Maria University over a month ago. The administration and faculty thought the current Secretary of Education was a good choice for the commencement speaker at the Catholic university’s graduation ceremonies. Despite the support of the faculty, 39 students signed a letter to the dean asking him to rescind the invitation at the end of April.
DeVos, an advocate of Christian education, supports dismantling the public school system, and she has earned criticism from disability rights advocate. In her home state of Michigan, she runs primary, secondary and vocational schools.
Although her politics remain unpopular, no one found fault with the speech she gave. She told students that they need to embrace the ugly side of society if they want to fix it. While DeVos may not have received thunderous applause, she was not booed or snubbed by the soon-to-be alumni of Ave Maria University, according to Time Magazine.
University President Jim Tower defended his decision to invite DeVos. The Daily Caller, a conservative blog posted his comments. In the article, he called DeVos a controversial but effective public servant.
DeVos’s speech went on to tell graduates to be ready for whatever life throws at them. The current secretary of education encouraged the alumni to continue their education beyond college. She, like the members of the university faculty, believes continued education is necessary to stay competitive.