The University of Notre Dame announced Thursday Vice President Mike Pence will serve as the primary commencement speaker on May 21. He will also receive an honorary degree from the university.
“It is fitting that in the 175th year of our founding on Indiana soil that Notre Dame recognize a native son who served our state and now the nation with quiet earnestness, moral conviction and a dedication to the common good characteristic of true statesmen,” Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins said in a statement. “With his own brand of reserved dignity, Mike Pence instilled confidence on the state level then, and on the world stage now. We are proud to welcome him to represent the new administration.”
The South Bend Tribune reports Rev. Jenkins was considering inviting President Donald Trump to speak, keeping with a tradition of inviting the sitting President to speak during his first year in office. According to the Tribune, more than 2,700 people signed a petition in December urging the university not to extend the invitation.
Notre Dame’s Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Paul Browne would not say whether the university extended an invitation to Trump.