Millikin University Apologizes After Speaker – NBC Chicago

What should be a celebration of achievement for many Millikin University students took a sharp turn when an unexpected graduation speech was given.

The comments were made by Rev. Wally Carlson, who delivered the invocation speech during the December event.

According to NBC affiliate WAND, Carlson pretended to be answering a call from God during his speech.

“Let’s first deal with the gender issue. He understands and shares with you that there is no theological justification for this, but he chooses him and him today, doesn’t like her and her, and just because that’s probably irritating enough people for it to come out that way, we get our own from her and her keep away, ”said Carlson allegedly.

The speech came as a surprise to many in the audience, including transgender graduates like Nat Long, who told WAND that the ceremony felt “less like an achievement, more like an escape”.

“I just kind of sat there like you knew I was holding back tears,” Long told the broadcaster. “I tried not to get upset because this is not the first case of transphobia that I have experienced directly at this school. In the last year alone, I’ve had about three other incidents that really weren’t good. I just wanted to graduate, but I felt like I really couldn’t. “

Millikin University said in a statement to WAND that it “immediately issued an apology to everyone who attended” at the outset, saying Carlson’s comments “do not reflect or represent our university’s values”.

“We were not aware of his statements before the start and were equally surprised and disappointed by them,” the statement said. “Going forward, Millikin will be sure to review all prepared comments for important events such as the beginning. We deeply regret the damage this has caused and we reiterate our support for all members of the Millikin community.”

However, some students say that an apology is not enough.

“We get a lot of excuses, but things don’t change and we keep being told that they are, and apologies kind of get old when it keeps happening and nothing is done,” said student Katharine Baughmann.

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