Kansas university cancels Ivanka Trump speech amid protests

Speech by President Trump's daughter and adivsor, Ivanka Trump, nixed at Wichita State University amid protests.

Tags: Ivanka Trump
Marcy Oster, JTA ,

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump

WSU Tech, an affiliate of Wichita State University, canceled a commencement speech that was to be delivered by Ivanka Trump after protests over the choice.

In a statement released late Thursday night, the presidents of Wichita State University and WSU Tech said the commencement, which was streamed online over the weekend, would be “refocused more centrally on students,” the Wichita Eagle reported.

The announcement came after an associate professor at WSU, Jennifer Ray, circulated a letter asking the university to cancel Trump. The letter had gained 487 signatures by 11 p.m. on Thursday, according to the report.

“Ivanka Trump, obviously, represents her father’s administration as one of his closest advisors,” Ray wrote. “To many Americans, that administration has come to signify the worst of our country, particularly in its recent actions toward those peacefully protesting against racist police brutality.”

Trump wound up tweeting a recording of her commencement speech anyway, adding: “Our nation’s campuses should be bastions of free speech. Cancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetical to academia. Listening to one another is important now more than ever!”

During the nine-minute recorded speech, Trump spoke about the challenges of graduating during the coronavirus crisis and reassured them about the current mass unemployment caused by the pandemic. “In my own life, I have found that my greatest personal growth has arisen from times of discomfort and uncertainty,” she said.