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Notre Dame Students Walk Out of Graduation During Mike Pence’s Commencement Speech

A large group of graduating students at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana walked out of their graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 21, to protest Vice President Mike Pence‘s commencement speech.

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The Washington Post reported that the Catholic university typically invites newly inaugurated presidents to address its graduating seniors, but thousands of students and faculty members signed a petition this year asking the school’s president not to invite President Donald Trump. Instead, Notre Dame chose to invite former Indiana governor Pence, 57.

According to the outlet, school officials knew that members of the student activist group We Stand For planned to walk out on Pence’s address on Sunday morning, but did not try to stop them.

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Notre Dame vice president for public affairs and communications Paul Browne told the Post that the students were allowed to protest on the condition that they did not disrupt the ceremony. Notre Dame student activists previously protested speeches by former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden in 2009 and 2016, respectively.

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Pence did not appear to be bothered by the protest. Amid applause and boos from the crowd, he said, “It’s deeply humbling for me to participate in the 172nd commencement in Notre Dame’s 175th year.”

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