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Ann Coulter to give Commencement address*

By Daniel Silverman

Section: News

April 1, 2005

Ann Coulter, the noted conservative political pundit and bestselling author, will deliver the keynote address at the Universitys 54th commencement exercises, according to University spokesman Dennis Nealon.

Coulter is the author of four New York Times bestsellers including How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) and Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. She is a frequent contributor to Fox News and writes a syndicated column seen in hundreds of newspapers.

A Connecticut native, Coulter graduated with honors from Cornell University and received her law degree from University of Michigan Law School, where she was an editor of the Michigan Law Review.

University President Jehuda Reinharz called Coulter, an outspoken advocate for her beliefs and a firm supporter of social justice.

He added, Brandeis is honored to have someone of her stature giving our Commencement address.

Reaction to the keynote speaker was mixed, with many students worried that commencement, a traditionally solemn day, might turn into a day of protests.

Frankly, a lot of people dont like Ann Coulter, said Sam Siegel 06, President of the Brandeis Democrats. Her views are, frankly, way out there in right field.

Coulter, who is publicly on record opposing Social Security and womens suffrage, has said that, even Islamic terrorists dont hate America like liberals do.

That type of commentary, frankly, leads to public disturbances, said Siegel.

Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said that Commencement would run smoothly.

There will be no disruptions on my watch, he told the Hoot, adding that standard security procedures will be observed, including metal detectors, bomb sniffing dogs, mandatory ID checks at the doors, and the like.

Callahan said that the city of Waltham had agreed to station its SWAT team on the Brandeis campus for the day of commencement.

Asked if snipers would be posted, Callahan said simply, I cant comment on that.

Brandeis Republicans President Robbie Schwartz 08 applauded Brandeis for bringing Coulter to campus.

That takes guts, he said. Brandeis is perceived as a bastion of liberal hippies and commies, and frankly it is about time that something like this happen. Ann Coulter is a noted and celebrated journalist, not to mention an incredibly smart woman. She deserves an honorary degree from Brandeis, and I salute President Reinharz for bringing her to campus.

Carol Ortenberg 07 complained that Brandeis was out of touch with the needs of its students.

They always pick these really crazy speakers, she said. How about someone we all can relate to, like Jon Stewart? But no, it has to be someone political.
Commencement exercises will be held on May 22 in the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. Callahan recommends that attendees arrive at least two hours in advance because of stricter security procedures.

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