Bethune Cookman University Graduates Turn Their Backs to Betsy DeVos

By: Jennifer Urena

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was met with the backs of Bethune Cookman Graduates after students decided to stand up and turn around during her commencement speech Wednesday.

While DeVos gave her opening statement at the graduation ceremony her speech was drowned out by “booing” and remarks made towards her.

This was followed by graduates in the audience standing up out of their seats and facing the back of the room, with their backs towards DeVos.

Several videos have surfaced of the graduation ceremony, including one of a young man running up and down the isle cheering the graduates on as they decide to stand up. Towards the end of the video the man is seen being escorted out by security.



Graduates refused to sit down causing school President Edison Jackson to interrupt Devos and ask students to take a seat.

“If this behavior continues your degrees will mailed to you,” said Jackson.

After the warning graduates began to take their seats and allow DeVos to continue her commencement.

Protest against DeVos immediately began after she was announced the guest speaker at Bethune Cookman. According to CNN a 2010 graduate led a group that gathered nearly 60,000 signatures asking the university not to let her speak at the ceremony.

Alumni and students of the university took to Twitter to voice their opinion on DeVos being the commencement speaker and the actions taken by graduates.


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