Kirkpatrick Withdraws As Lafayette's Commencement SpeakerAP , Associated Press
May. 29, 1987 10:09 PM ET
EASTON, PA. EASTON, Pa. (AP) _ Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, withdrew Friday as Lafayette College's commencement speaker after faculty members protested a plan to award her an honorary degree.
Mrs. Kirkpatrick was scheduled to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree before her Sunday address.
The faculty resolution did not ask that the degree be withdrawn or that Mrs. Kirkpatrick be denied the opportunity to speak, but the former ambassador told college president David W. Ellis that she would feel ''unwelcome.''
''I deeply regret that we will not be given an opportunity to hear and to honor a person who has compiled a distinguished career over 30 years as a teacher and scholar,'' Ellis said.
Kirkpatrick was appointed in 1981 by President Reagan as the first woman to serve as the chief U.S. representative at the United Nations.
The faculty resolution was approved Thursday on a vote of 60-34.
Among the faculty's criticisms of Kirkpatrick were her support of Third World dictatorships, her meeting with South African military officers in March 1981 and her support of improved relations with military regimes in South America later that year, said college spokesman Bernard R. Carman.