K-School May Invite Speaker For Graduation

Despite President bok's stated opposition to separate Commencement speakers at graduate school exercises, officials at the Kennedy School of Government said yesterday they are still considering the possibility of the speaker for this year's June 10th ceremony.

Norman R. Smith, assistant dean for student and alumni services at the K-School, said yesterday that opposition from the University would not be a factor in the decision whether to have a Commencement speaker, and said he doubted that the school's having a separate speaker would be "doing something wrong in the eyes of the University" the key question is what the students want, Smith added.

The K-School drew criticism from Bok's office last May when it invited President Reagan, along with several others, to speak at Commencement. Bok wrote a letter to graham T. Allison `62, dean of the K-School, saying it was inappropriate for graduate schools to have their own speakers.

Reagan and other invites declined the offer, and there was no speaker last year.

Smith yesterday denied any awareness of the letter "beyond what I read in the Crimson"


Bow was unvailable for comment yesterday

Time Pressures

The K-School marshals agreed in a meeting yesterday that time is the primary consideration in whether to invite a speaker. After the main morning graduation ceremony in the Yard, the K. School has from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a luncheon and the heading out of diplomas.

Handing out diplomas will take even longer this year than it did in 1980. when Walter Cronkite gave an address, because the graduating class has grown by 180 since then, Smith said.

Smith said that the Marshals committee will meet again and decide whether to have a speaker based on general student sentiment. Student feeling now seems to be. "Enough with pomp and circumstance--let's go have lunch." he added.

The K-School graduation program has always been "very small and personal." and this has distinguished it from the University's Commencement exercises Smith said.

Popular Opinion

David Hoffman, one of the marshals, said he plans to "talk to some students and get an idea what people think," If sentiment leans toward a Commencement speaker, the marshals will take that into consideration, he added.

Smith said that though "having a prestigious speaker might be nice." most of those involved in planning Commencement feel there is simply not enough time available. Students would probably rather spend time with parents and friends on Commencement day, he said