Graduation

The governor gave the commencement speech. To very few people.
Archived

Fri, May 22, 2015 - 1:13pm

Commencement ceremonies are mostly pretty similar, one to another. Graduates, caps and gowns, polite attention to a speaker at a podium.

But at the University of North Texas, the keynote speaker — the governor of the state — addressed just a tiny fraction of the graduating class. And part of that small audience was actively protesting him — turning away from him, holding anti-Gov. Greg Abbott signs.

A spokeswoman for the university in Denton, Tex., north of Dallas, said last-minute changes to the ceremony, moving it from an outdoor football field to an indoor coliseum after heavy rain and the possibility of hail and...

Protests Don't Stop Gov. Abbott's UNT Commencement Speech
Archived

Tue, May 19, 2015 - 7:32am

The University of North Texas had a campus-wide commencement over the weekend – a first for the school in Denton. The keynote speaker, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, ignored a few protestors and stayed focused on the graduates in his speech.

Greg Abbott came to the podium as banners unfurled in the stands. “Get the frack out of Denton” and “Abbott Free UNT” read a few. Abbott didn’t address them directly, but instead started his speech with thanks to people in the armed services, especially UNT student Nick Bradley.

“It’s because of Nick, and everyone like him who has fought on battlefields across the globe, that...

Pushed indoors, UNT's mass commencement ceremony sparsely attended
Archived

Mon, May 18, 2015 - 3:59pm

An estimated 300 to 400 degree recipients attended the University of North Texas’ first mass commencement ceremony, of the more than 4,000 who earned their diplomas this weekend.

Not a drop of rain had fallen by the time the ceremony ended — in spite of university officials’ Thursday decision to have the commencement in the UNT Coliseum, rather than at Apogee Stadium, because of the high chance of severe weather.

Because of the change, students from the College of Arts and Sciences and doctoral and master’s candidates were told not to go to the Coliseum for Saturday’s ceremony, instead having their degrees conferred...

Protesters escorted out with little disruption as Abbott speaks at UNT
Archived

Mon, May 18, 2015 - 8:57am

One student stood and turned his back in protest Saturday night as Gov. Greg Abbott began speaking to the 2015 graduating class at the University of North Texas.

He was watching as police escorted about a dozen protesters in the audience out of the UNT Coliseum. Graduates filled less than half the seats set out on the arena floor.

“We are here protesting Gov. Abbott on our campus,” Christy Medrano, a senior from Corsicana, said after being led outside. “We believe his policies are harmful to the student body here.”

Despite the protest, Abbott continued his congratulatory speech without pause, promising...

UNT sets commencement rain plan
Archived

Thu, May 14, 2015 - 12:35pm

The first mass commencement ceremony for the University of North Texas at Apogee Stadium is days away, and staff members have released an official weather plan if the rainCONTINUES into Saturday night.

If there is inclement weather, the universitywide commencement will move inside the UNT Coliseum,...