Assembly Republicans Holly Schepisi and Mary Pat Angelini voiced their disappointment that Condoleezza Rice has withdrawn from delivering this year’s commencement address at Rutgers University:

“I am profoundly saddened that Dr. Rice will not be delivering her words of inspiration to this year’s graduating class at Rutgers,” said Schepisi, R-Bergen and Passaic. “Dr. Rice has achieved world acclaim for her intellect and statesmanship. Opportunities like this don’t come along too frequently. It is unfortunate that certain members of the faculty at the Rutgers New Brunswick campus have no problem with voicing their opposition and displeasure in some instances, but are the first to encourage the free exchange of ideas and thoughts – as long as they agree with you. I feel terrible for those who were duped into opposing Dr. Rice delivering the commencement speech. They would have learned something.”

Earlier this year, Schepisi and Angelini introduced their own resolution expressing opposition to the Rutgers University New Brunswick Faculty Council’s resolution calling on the university’s board of governors to rescind its invitation to Dr. Rice to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony.

“Condoleezza Rice is a trailblazer and a woman of extraordinary intelligence and diverse talents who has spent much of her career in academia,” said Angelini, R-Monmouth. “Her accomplishments in higher education and as Secretary of State make her more than qualified to deliver a commencement address at Rutgers and any other university. The fact that politics played a role in this issue is appalling and a lesson the graduates and faculty at the state university should learn. Those who opposed Dr. Rice speaking and receiving an honorary degree should be embarrassed.