Northwestern U. withdraws Wright honorary degree because of controversy.

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WASHINGTON–The Daily Northwestern has the scoop on the withdrawal of an honorary degree for the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, with the offer dropped because he became too controversial.

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NU rescinds honorary degree offer to Wright

Emily Glazer

Issue date: 5/1/08 Section: Campus

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Northwestern withdrew an offer to U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, for an honorary degree this year, Al Cubbage, vice president for university relations, said Wednesday night.

At a Dallas church on Sunday, Wright, the former minister of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, said NU planned on presenting him with a doctorate in sacred theology. After controversial clips of Wright’s sermons were widely disseminated, NU withdrew the offer, according to an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“The president of the university called and told me he was withdrawing the degree because I was not patriotic,” Wright told the congregation of Friendship-West Baptist Church, the article said.

Earlier this year, NU extended an invitation to Wright to receive an honorary degree at the June commencement based on the recommendation of faculty committees, Cubbage said in a statement.

“In light of the controversy around Dr. Wright and to ensure that the celebratory character of Commencement not be affected, the University has withdrawn its invitation to Dr. Wright,” the statement read. Cubbage said university officials would have no comment besides the statement.

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The full statement about Rev. Wright from Vice President for University Relations Al Cubbage:

“Earlier this academic year, acting on the recommendation of faculty committees, Northwestern University extended an invitation to the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, former senior minister of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, to receive an honorary degree at Northwestern’s Commencement in June. Commencement at Northwestern is a time of celebration of the accomplishments of Northwestern’s graduating students and their families. In light of the controversy around Dr. Wright and to ensure that the celebratory character of Commencement not be affected, the University has withdrawn its invitation to Dr. Wright.”

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