Administration

DeVos to give commencement speech at historically black university

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will give the commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University, the historically black establishment said. 

DeVos will speak at the school’s commencement ceremony on May 10 on its campus in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“Much like Dr. Bethune, Founder of Bethune-Cookman University, Secretary DeVos deems the importance of opportunity and hope for students to receive an exceptional education experience,” the university said in a press release

“Her mission to empower parents and students resonates with the history and legacy of Dr. Bethune.”

{mosads}The speech comes several months after DeVos faced criticism for connecting school choice, one of her top policy stances, with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and great quality,” DeVos said in February. “Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.”

DeVos, following backlash, wrote in several tweets that the schools were founded because black students were not originally allowed to attend the same schools as white students.

“#HCBUs are such an important piece of the fabric of American history—one that encompasses some of our nation’s greatest citizens,” DeVos wrote. “Providing an alternative option to students denied the right to attend a quality school is the legacy of #HBCUs.”

“But your history was born not out of mere choice, but out of necessity, in the face of racism, and in the aftermath of the Civil War,” she added.

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