Sunday, August 30, 2015

Gov. Corbett: graduation speaker

Gov. Corbett got four requests to speak at graduations. He's accepted one.

Gov. Corbett: graduation speaker


Gov. Corbett, riding low in public polls, facing reelection and controversial on the subject of education funding, including funding for higher education, didn't exactly draw a full card of requests for commencement addresses this season.

According to his office, he got four: Valley Forge Military Academy & College; Yorktowne Business Institute in York; Penn Dental School; and Esperanza Charter School in Philly.

He's schedule to speak only at Esperanza's graduation, June 6.

On one hand, it's perhaps understandable that schools wanted to avoid potential controversy.

This is, after all, a year in which several graduation speakers ran into objections from students and faculty with some speakers pulling out and at least one replacement speaker -- former Princeton president William Bowen -- admonishing Haverford College students for criticizing selected speaker, former UC Berkeley chancellor Robert Bergeneau, forcing him to withdraw.

And perhaps you recall Corbett's cool reception last year when he spoke at Millersville University's graduation, at which some students turned their chairs away from the stage.

On the other hand, Corbett chose to face the lions by agreeing to speak at a North Philly charter in the school district most critical of his education funding policies.

I imagine many will be interested in what he has to say. Or not.

(Please note I resisted the urge to wisecrack about what he might have said to a military school, a business school or a dental school. It is tempting, though.)


Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

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