Vice President Mike Pence earned a standing ovation as he delivered the commencement speech at Indiana’s Taylor University Saturday — in spite of planned protests and a student and faculty walkout just before he was introduced.
After petitions pressing the small non-denominational Christian university to disinvite Pence failed, the IndyStar reported that dozens of students and faculty members quietly walked out as attendees sang the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision.”
Dozens of Taylor University faculty members and graduating students walked out moments before Vice President Mike Pence gave a commencement address about standing up for traditional Christian beliefs https://t.co/rLU692HDVg
— Axios (@axios) May 19, 2019
Students walked out right before the Vice President took the stage https://t.co/iQ8gXWgDQH
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 19, 2019
IndyStar’s Alexandria Burris noted that a number of students wore stickers and customized mortarboards which were designed to send a specific message as well.
I’m also seeing that a tweet I sent earlier didn’t post. Some faculty and graduates in the social work dept. wore stickers that said, “We are Taylor too” in protest of Pence’s presence at Taylor. Another graduate decorated her cap with a protest message. pic.twitter.com/g9PcfBNfJU
— Alexandria Burris (@AllyBurris) May 18, 2019
Once he took the stage, Pence delivered a message designed to encourage Christians to stand strong in a culture that is increasingly antagonistic to faith and to Christian principles. (RELATED: VP Pence Breaks Silence On Buttigieg’s Attacks On His Faith)
Dozens of graduates and faculty protest Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance at Taylor University’s commencement by walking out before his introduction. Most of the Indiana school’s graduating class did not leave and Pence received a standing ovation. https://t.co/nNYQbotPny
— AP Central U.S. (@APCentralRegion) May 18, 2019
The majority of the 494-student graduating class remained in the auditorium for the vice president’s speech, and the crowd rewarded him with extended applause and a standing ovation.