» This Story:Read +| Comments

Invocation At U-Md. Graduation To Continue

Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 10, 2009; Page B01

University of Maryland President C.D. Mote Jr., in a rare rebuff of the school's senate, announced yesterday that commencement ceremonies would continue to include an invocation.

This Story

"For many people, a prayer of gratitude and a moment of reflection are an important part of our commencement tradition," Mote said in a statement released yesterday. "A great many people who participate in our ceremonies either embrace this tradition or are willing to allow others who value it to have it as part of the ceremony."

After a long study, the 175-member senate -- composed of faculty, students and staff members -- voted 42 to 14 on Monday to abolish the prayer, a long-standing feature of the graduation ceremony. Senate Chair Kenneth Holum said many people on the large and diverse campus "felt excluded or marginalized" by previous prayers.

University spokesman Lee Tune said the school received many calls and e-mails in response to the vote, "most supporting a continuance of our tradition of having an invocation at commencement."

Elise Miller-Hooks, chair-elect of the senate and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, said: "It's pretty rare that [Mote] would do something like this and choose to go against the recommendation of the senate. He must have strong reasons for that."




» This Story:Read +| Comments

More in the Education Section

[Neighborhoods]

Map Local Schools

Use Neighborhoods to find schools in Washington, D.C., Md. and Va.

[X=Why?]

X=Why?

Relive a year of high school math with reporter Michael Alison Chandler.

[Challenge Index]

Best Local Schools

A database of the most challenging local high schools.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company