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Commencement: The National Anthem?

A faithful reader writes in with a query:

Why was the National Anthem omitted from the proceedings? That is absurd and truly offensive. For games attended by a few hundred or less, we play it. For a formal gathering of 13,500, we omit it? We had a graduate in uniform, Evan Bloom, commissioned as a Marine officer on Saturday. We had grandparents that served overseas. We had ordinary, patriotic Americans in attendance — including the Commencement speaker. (She made it a point to praise America.)

Google “Commencement” and “National Anthem” and see what Harvard did.

In my crowd, the conversation was more about this than some unnecessary use of vulgarities.

I do not know what the Dartmouth tradition is, but I cannot remember any gathering of size where the Anthem has not been played. If it is not typically played at Dartmouth Commencement, that should change.

Several other readers expressed the same concern.

Addendum: Here is what Harvard did:

Addendum: A reader comments:

BTW, thanks for highlighting that glaring omission from the Commencement program.

I am sure it was deliberate rather than a mere oversight. The annual Commencement program follows a fairly consistent template, and goes through months of careful review, cross-checking and iterations. It is not created from scratch each year by a committee whose charter is creating novelty that pays no heed to well-established protocols. So I doubt a College apology for “this innocent and unintended oversight” will be forthcoming.

As one commenter noted, the lack of honor for our nation, at a 3-plus hour signature event, speaks volumes and is far more troubling than the thin gruel proffered by Ms. Rhimes when entrusted with the Lone Pine lectern.

Addendum: Another reader does some research:

After reading the recent comments on the omission of the National Anthem from Dartmouth’s Commencement program, I was curious to see if President Hanlon’s former institution followed the same practice. The programs for recent Michigan Commencements show that all, including the separate graduate exercises, included the National Anthem in the “Order of Exercises”.

We attended Dartmouth Commencements in 2010, 2011 and 2014. I don’t recall that the National Anthem was included in any of them, a curious omission particularly given the College’s recent outreach efforts to veterans.

Michigan Commencement Comp.jpg

Interestingly enough, Michigan’s Provost is Martha Pollock ‘79.


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