On 20 March 2009, Notre Dame announced that President Barack H. Obama will deliver the principal address at the 2009 commencement ceremonies as well as receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University's Law School.
While there have been many University community members voicing their excitement or approval of the University's choice of speaker, there also are individual students, student groups, and faculty who are displeased and disappointed by the announcement.
On 25 March 2009, a coalition of 10 University student groups released a public statement denouncing the University's' decision to invite and honor Mr. Obama.
The group has been fast at work organizing respectful, prayerful, and educative responses to the announcement. The students' intention is to defend the University's mission and identity as a Catholic institution of higher learning, as well as call the University administration to task on implementing more pro-life initiatives from the administrative level. Particularly, the coalition is calling for the University to rescind the intention to honor Mr. Obama with the honorary doctor of laws degree.
The Notre Dame Response Student Coalition intends to host a timeline of events between now and 17 May 2009, Commencement Day.
Stay up-to-date on the progress of ND Response by visiting the coalition's website: www.NDresponse.com.