By Harry Painter
Commencement season is an often-controversial time. Last year was conspicuous for its wave of politically motivated disinvitations, with students trying, sometimes with success, to get their universities to rescind invitations to commencement speakers such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Condoleezza Rice.
This year started out with a more pragmatic controversy. In April, the University of Houston reluctantly admitted it is paying actor Matthew McConaughey $135,000 to speak at this month’s commencement ceremony. This raises important questions: At what point does the graduation ritual become too extravagant? Could college funds be put to better use than attracting celebrity speakers to say a few inspiring words to the graduating class? After all, most commencement speakers are paid nothing. CONTINUE READING HERE