Protest Letter about President Clinton as 2016 Commencement Speaker

Dear President Snyder,

We alumni, donors, parents, faculty, students, and concerned friends object to your decision to honor President Bill Clinton as LMU’s 2016 commencement speaker on May 7th. If you as President of LMU treated a 21 year old intern in your office as he did, you would be fired as president and never honored in any way at LMU. Why should the standards be lower for a President of the United States? If LMU cares about sexual harassment, it should not honor someone repeatedly and credibly accused of such activity.  Moreover, it is inappropriate in an election year to honor the spouse of a leading candidate thereby politicizing an event that should be unifying.  Finally, President Clinton’s steadfast support of abortion on demand, including even partial birth abortion, is incompatible with LMU’s Jesuit emphasis on social justice for all human beings.

We protest your decision to give an honorary doctorate to President Clinton.



To support this effort please sign below and circulate this petition.  We also welcome you to include your own comment. 

LMU Jesuit Rector Defends Giving an Honorary Doctorate to President Bill Clinton

In the Loyolan, Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, the rector of the Jesuit Community at LMU and a trustee, defends giving President Clinton an honorary doctorate.  “In conferring this honor LMU does not endorse all of Mr. Clinton’s past or current policies nor condone all his actions,” Fr. Deck told the Loyolan, “Rather, the University recognizes the extraordinary service he has given to civil society and his lifetime connection to Catholic and Jesuit higher education as a Georgetown University alumnus.”  

By contrast, the U.S. Catholic Bishops teach, “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” A politician’s extraordinary service does not constitute an exception to this principle, since any politician who is being considered for an honor presumably has exemplary service in at least some respects.

Fr. Deck’s response to RenewLMU’s criticism attacks a straw man.  No one thinks that to grant an honorary doctorate is to endorse all of a politician’s policies or to condone all the politician’s actions.  Nor is the question whether the politician provided extraordinary service or attended a Jesuit university.   The question is whether President Clinton’s policies and actions violate fundamental Catholic moral principles about partial birth abortion, perjury, obstruction of justice, and sexual harassment in the workplace.  The answer is obvious.

306 thoughts on “Protest Letter about President Clinton as 2016 Commencement Speaker

  1. As a University of Notre Dame graduate, I share your dismay at the unravelling of the Catholic character of your institution.

  2. Good evening, friends of LMU

    As you know, Bill Clinton is to be the 2016 Commencement Speaker–this Saturday,May 7. The graduation program begins about 9 am., incoming traffic will be earlier.

    Who would like to join in a prayerful, peaceful, and persistent vigil at the corner of Lincoln and LMU Drive? (Somebody say Amen!)

    Contact me at

    Jim Hanink

  3. The values of the Catholic Church are not enhanced by the people our institutions invite onto their campuses. I am very disappointed in this decision. I have no respect for Bill Clinton.

  4. I am a 1968 LU grad and totally disgusted with LMUs actions. It’s time to take St Ignatius Loyola’s monikor off the University’s name…Why misrepresent that place as Catholic and dishonor his memory. Seems the administration is more interested in jumping on a progressive bandwagon than sustaining Catholic values. What an awful message to be sending our students…sadly, there are so few truly Catholic universities left.

  5. For some time now LMU has not acted as a Catholic institution.
    It is a source of great concern and disappointment to see this once great, really Catholic university sink down to the depths of just another “run of the mill” secular educational centers of learning. I would be very much against sending any of my grandchildren there.

  6. This is just against our Catholic values to invite Bill Clinton who’s the opposite of our values and traditions. Loyola can do better! What a disgrace!

  7. Our culture continues to tear down moral and ethical accountability and we are creating a world lacking respect and we are loosing the sense of what is wrong. By having Bill Clinton as the LMU commencement speaker the university is sending students and the entire community a message that sexual harassment is fine as long as you are a powerful public figure and/or have lots of money.

  8. There are plenty of catholic politicians, Rubio, Paul Ryan, to name a couple that are honest and live out their catholic faith. Why select someone with anti catholic views on life and marriage?

  9. I have raised children and have friends who have done so, and when looking for a Catholic education for our children, we look for a strong Catholic identity at schools being considered – don’t see one being fostered nor cultivated at LMU, nor at other Jesuit schools. Sorry and sad situation.

  10. You call yourself a Catholic University, now BE one. I have a prospective student, he is a sophomore in high school. We would love to send him to your fine school. Please be the Catholic school you can be…

  11. Inviting President Clinton to speak lends the appearance of an endorsement of his policies and viewpoints. It confuses people and leads them down the wrong path. A speaker who is faithful to Catholic teaching would be a more appropriate choice.

  12. L.M.U is a Catholic university why are you allowing a pro abortion and anti religious speaker come to change the views of our graduates

  13. So disappointed in this invitation and recent report of “hate crime” for Catholic staff member discussing faith and concern about LGBT/Transgender issues. God willing, my daughter will graduate in 2017. She has found faithful friends and had good direction. However, I will not even waste the application fee to allow my younger daughter to apply to LMU because I can only imagine the decline/devolution of Catholic tradition over the next four years.

  14. This is so sad that a past beacon of Catholic higher education has devolved to a secular run of the mill school with no responsible leadership. We cannot support this school financially until it returns to timeless Catholic truths, nor can we recommend it to any families looking for a reputable university for their children. What a tragic loss of mission!

  15. LMU must follow Catholic teaching and invite practicing, true Catholics (nobody is perfect, but for their fruit we will know who they are and who belong to, to God or to the evil). My children (who was accepted) will not go to LMU, there are several red flags flashing to not sent my children to LMU: the invitation of Clinton, the gender signs at campus on April 14 (we were there, I read them), the firing of the person that said the true about only two genders, male and female (regarding the signs). I cannot keep ignoring and giving explanation to that. I do not want my 17 year old children (difficult age) to lose the faith and to be deceived.

  16. As a Catholic university you must return to the truth of the gospel and not allow popular cutouts/politics/etc to influence your curriculum. Jesus said we are the salt if the earth. LMU has lost its salt!

  17. Please reconsider your choice in bringing Bill Clinton in as the speaker. He is definitely not in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church .
    Also, the monologue that you are showing In a Catholic institution is despicable. Also bring back the professor that indicated that marriage is between one man and one woman. She should have never been suspended because she is speaking the truth. A Catholic university should be supporting the truth instead of the flavor of the day. The truth never changes, never no matter how much someone may want it to. Please realize what you are doing under the mask of a “Catholic university” is harming our children !!

  18. I agree that President Clinton’s policies and actions violate fundamental Catholic moral principles about partial birth abortion, perjury, obstruction of justice, and sexual harassment in the workplace.

  19. Bill Clinton Has no business addressing anyone at any Catholic University. Bill Clinton in no way reflects Catholic moral teachings. People send their children to Catholic schools for a reason. The reason is simple to get a Catholic education and Bill In no way reflects Catholic moral principles!

  20. Don’t invite Bill Clinton! He’s anti-Catholic and promotes abortion and gay marriages. He’s not fit to receive an honorary degree from a Catholic university.

  21. As of this morning, LMU is being totally eliminated as a beneficiary of our living trust. My wife and I can no longer be complicit in supporting an institution that is actively engaging in undermining the very principles of our Catholicism. We can no longer just watch and hope that LMU changes direction, though we will continue to pray that it does. For those members who purport to be Catholic on the Board of Directors I would encourage you to engage in a prayerful retreat and do an active discernment regarding the consequences of your actions and choice of direction for LMU. I am sure you are “well intentioned” but you need to realize that your actions, or perhaps non-action, is having serious consequences by directly undermining the tenets of our faith.

    Please understand, this course of action does not bring us any happiness but rather pain and a real sense of losing something precious to us. LMU and more importantly the students whose instruction has been entrusted by their faithful, sacrificing parents must clearly understand that their university is on a trajectory that will be very difficult to change. Pray for LMU.

    With humility,

    Joseph M Horejsi MD ’79
    Michelle A Ryan MD ’79

    Members of Alpha Sigma Nu
    Former longtime LMU Presidential Donors
    Donors to Jesuit School of Theology

  22. Please stop the scandal. We must all decide, do we serve man or do we serve God? I will say a prayer for LMU, its administrators, teachers, students and families. I ask you to please ask the Holy Spirit to help you choose what is right in God’s eyes, and that He give you the courage to carry it out… I’m confident He’ll answer your prayer.

  23. Why would this beautiful Catholic University invite Mr Clinton to come speak. He stands for pro-choice, which is abortion, the killing of countless babies. We need to stand by God and his teachings at ALL times. Why do we sometimes accommodate others when it goes against by what we believe in? Please do not this man speak when what he represents is not of GOD. Regardless what service he has provided to the United States or to the world, it does not take away what he stands for. We need to honor God before all. Peace be with you.

  24. Please bring this lovely university back to Christ. It’s going in the wrong direction. Help our young people live a morally Christian life.

  25. As a dedicated Roman Catholic, I am outraged that LMU has invited a person of very questionable character as Bill Clinton to be honored at their commencement ceremony. Being an alumnus does not qualify him as speaker, a large percentage of LMU are non-Catholics.
    The bishops and the pope do not endorse him or his wife, how can LMU honor him (and her through him) They pour billions into abortion programs in defiance of our faith. Could he be soliciting votes for Mrs. Clinton?

  26. Six people in my family are alums of LU or LMU…. It’s hard to imagine why our Catholic university would do such a thing… What message is that sending our youth? The Jesuits I knew must be rolling in their graves… I recommend the “Loyola” part of LMU be dropped to disassociate from this new secular catastrophe the school has become!

  27. It has been obvious for many years now that LMU has grown more and more liberal to ideas and beliefs that are not in line with the Catholic Church. It is so disappointing. As our country throws Judeo Christian values away, one would hope that a Catholic University would hold fast to God’s truth. Bill Clinton – really…really! Moral relativism is the new and popular belief system. So sad. Shaping young people is a grave responsibility. Please rethink your choice in having Bill Clinton speak.

  28. I cannot believe how LMU can even consider inviting such an amoral flaming abortion supporter and during a presidential campaign of his also flaming abortion supporter wife. Are the Jesuits on campus also behind this atrocity? Stop posing as a Catholic university and acting as a secular university.

  29. I am so disappointed and disgusted that Mr. Clinton has been chosen to speak at the graduation. For a Catholic institution to honor someone who supports abortion, disrespected the office of the Presidency, and has a spouse running for the Presidency who is also being investigated by the FBI, I wonder what the motive behind the University could possibly be. There are many honorable people who could have been selected from LMU’s own alumni. We will no longer be supporting LMU financially and it will be taken off of our list of donations in our will. Very sad day.

  30. Appalling! Truly appalling! I’m embarrassed to be an alumni of what used to be a lovely Catholic University. Embarrassed because the values of Bill Clinton go against the grain of every value the Jesuit Community holds sacred. LMU has sold out the Catholic Community for a blatant attempt at publicity. For those who think this is a good idea, I will pray for your souls. You are corrupting your students with a validation of the Clinton’s immorality.

  31. There are other more worthy candidates to speak at LMU and receive the honorary doctorate who don’t have past or present ideology that supports abortion and other anti life affirming legislation. This action is not in line with Catholic teaching at this ‘Catholic’ Jesuit university and sends the wrong message to those who try every day to live out the faith (especially our youth). We are all sinners and only God is the judge, but all those involved with making these decisions ESPECIALLY THE RELIGIOUS need to take another look at their conscience.

  32. LMU must invite a speaker with good moral Catholic character. LMU has many graduates who are serving Catholic schools as teachers or principals in elementary & high school who are really serving their community. These are kind of people that we need to give honor to. A man for others who answer God’s calls. There are thousands of alumni and donors to LMU who are better examples in character than Clinton.

  33. It is extremely disappointing and heartbreaking that a Catholic institution such as LMU is taking part in such a debauchery. LMU is supposed to be the salt of the earth and light for the world as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to be. Instead of teaching the true Catholic faith they are giving people a watered down, morally relativistic, erroneous and distorted message not consistent with the teachings our Lord Jesus Christ has given us. Let us pray for the repentance and conversion of those leaders at LMU.

  34. Please get back to your Catholic roots and the spiritual teachings of your wonderful namesake St Ignatius Loyola. Our young people need strong moral guidance and Godly wisdom for an effective joyful life. I’m praying Rosaries for you to get back to following Jesus.

  35. It is good to be inclusive but don’t forget where we come from or who we are. We are Catholic. We are the people of the Eucharist. If that offends people then they are the bigots, not us.

  36. As a Catholic university, LMU should stand for Catholic values not honor people who denigrate those values.

  37. We urge you to withdraw your invitation to President Clinton, for his views are against and a total disrespect to the Lord’s laws.

  38. Who are the trustees at LMU ? Where is the religious order that started the school ? Where is the (ahem) Catholic faculty ? Where are they during this abomination ? Where is the Jesuits ? Where is the President ?

    And I could add the same for the abortion and hiring abominations, which I think are worse.

  39. I have a daughter who had planned to go to LMU . She is a junior. She has been recruited by you. She now does not wish to attend a university where Catholic values are not followed, where sexual harassment of women is brushed aside. You have lost all our respect LMU, and you won’t have one red cent in tuition.

  40. If LMU does not endorse or condones Mr. Clinton’s actions and past or present policies why does LMU feel the need to recognize Mr. Clinton solely on the fact that he is a Georgetown alumni. There must be many other commendable and well known alumni from other Jesuit colleges that live a truly faithful Catholic live . LMU should not honor those individuals who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. Just because they are important politicians in the public eye who had extraordinary service they should not be given honors, awards or platforms which suggest support for their actions.

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