Never Mind that Graduation Speaker


California State University at Monterey Bay announced that it’s just not going to have a guest speaker at graduation this year.

Now with speaking fees topping $30,000, and California’s state schools struggling with drastic budget cuts, one might think that the decision is designed to save the school some cash.

Not really, says the school. According to an article by Claudia Melendez Salinas in the Monterey Herald:

“It’s a decision to try a different approach and try to put the focus on the students and their accomplishments as much as possible,” CSUMB spokesman Scott Faust said.

The decision has nothing to do with budget cuts, Faust said, since none of the commencement speakers in the CSU system receive honoraria.

All previous graduations have featured guest speakers. The Monterey Bay campus has only been around since 1994 but past speakers include Mexican Bishop Samuel Ruiz, CIA Director to Leon Panetta, and San Jose Mercury News Publisher Jay Harris.

While famous graduation speakers can draw attention to a school, however briefly, focusing “on the students and their accomplishments” seems to make sense. It’s their graduation after all. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer