New Hope High School, located just southeast of Huntsville, Ala., announced today that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will deliver the commencement address at the school’s upcoming graduation ceremony.
Madison County School Superintendent Dr. David Copeland said the grandmother of one of New Hope’s graduates is a personal friend of Palin’s and played a key role in getting the former Republican Vice Presidential nominee to agree to speak.
New Hope will graduate about 75 students during the May 21 ceremony, the smallest graduating class in the Madison County school district.
RELATED: THE EXCHANGE: Sarah Palin believes Alabama is ‘doing something right’
“We normally don’t have to give out tickets to graduations,” explained Madison County Schools spokesperson Geraldine Tibbs. “The rest of our graduations don’t give out tickets, they’re just first-come-first-served, but we had to for New Hope because it’s such a big name that’s coming in.”
Tibbs said that the feedback they have received about Mrs. Palin delivering the commencement address has so far has been “100 percent positive.”
“People are really wanting the tickets and making sure they have enough,” said Tibbs. “We have received no negative feedback, and I hope we don’t. It’s exciting.”
The response to Palin coming to Alabama stands in stark contrast to the recent controversy surrounding Rutgers University’s decision to invite Alabama native and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to deliver their commencement address.
Some Rutgers University professors and students loudly protested Rice’s invitation, to the point that Rice ultimately declined to speak.
“Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families,” Rice said. “Rutgers’ invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.”
Why do you think the response to Palin has been so positive, but Rutgers’ response to Rice was not? Is it simply because Alabama is a more conservative state? Or are the northeast liberals not as tolerant as they present themselves to be? Let us know in the comment section below or by tweeting @YHPolitics.
Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims