Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s controversial Secretary of Education, did not have an easy time giving the commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Many graduates turned their backs on her.
And actively booed her throughout her speech.
DeVos spoke about civil rights pioneer and educator Mary McLeod Bethune, the college’s namesake, and about “empowering students” and giving them opportunities.
Betsy DeVos says she's going to visit Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune's gravesite.
Bethune Cookman's students were *not* pleased. pic.twitter.com/pARTNDv2s5— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 10, 2017
She did get some applause when acknowledging individual Bethune-Cookman students and recognizing instructors.
Over 50,000 people had signed a Bethune-Cookman graduate’s petition calling on the university to rescind its invitation to DeVos.
Some students on social media saying they feel like graduation was hijacked, that such controversial figure shouldnt be here #BacksToBetsy— Mariana_Atencio (@marianaatencio) May 10, 2017
Some university officials were not amused by graduates’ behavior.
'If this behavior continues your degrees will be mailed to you' says official at Bethune Cookman commencement #backstobetsy— Mariana_Atencio (@marianaatencio) May 10, 2017
Others thought the irresponsible behavior was on the part of the administration for inviting DeVos and granting her an honorary degree.
I'm sorry, but that is just deeply irresponsible of Bethune-Cookman to award Betsy DeVos with a honorary doctorate.— Snackinista Jones (@seabethree) May 10, 2017
Bethune-Cookman University dishonors itself by inviting Betsy De Vos to this commencement and giving her an honorary degree. https://t.co/vSGQVayNRL— Bill Lindsey (@wdlindsy) May 10, 2017