Former Princeton University President Calls College Students “Immature” and “Arrogant” for Protesting Original Commencement Speaker

William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton and a commencement speaker at Haverford College, called student protestors' approach both "immature" and "arrogant" and the subsequent withdrawal of Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California Berkeley, a "defeat" for the Quaker college and its ideals. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton and a commencement speaker at Haverford College, called student protestors’ approach both “immature” and “arrogant” and the subsequent withdrawal of Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California Berkeley, a “defeat” for the Quaker college and its ideals. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer

A commencement speaker has blasted Pennsylvania college students as “immature” and “arrogant” for protesting the original speaker who then decided to withdraw.

Former Princeton University President William Bowen used his commencement speech at Haverford College outside Philadelphia on Sunday to criticize students who campaigned against Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.

More than 40 students and three professors had protested Birgeneau’s invitation to speak, objecting to his handling of a 2011 incident at Berkeley in which police used force at a student protest.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1sHYBcW) reports that Bowen said Birgeneau’s withdrawal was a “defeat” for the school.

His address drew a standing ovation.

Birgeneau is one of several commencement speakers who have canceled their appearances this spring amid student protests.

Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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