(WASHINGTON) -- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided that she will not deliver the commencement address at Rutgers University as previously scheduled. In a statement, Rice said that "commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families." She added that the invitation for her to speak "has become a distraction for the university community at this special time."
Some members of the Rutgers community, including students and faculty, had staged sit-ins and argued that Rice was at least partially responsible for the Iraq War, during which she served under the administration of George W. Bush.
Rice defended her record in her statement, saying that she is "honored" to have served her country and that she defended the right to freedom of speech, but that she was "simply unwilling to detract" from the university's commencement ceremony in any way.
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