The commencement speaker purity bug has hit Smith College.
The Northampton, Mass., women’s college announced Monday that International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has withdrawn as the school’s 2014 commencement speaker due to faculty and student protests over the IMF’s policies.
The decision to withdraw — announced by Smith College President Kathleen McCartney — comes less than a week before the ceremony on May 18.
“In the last few days,” Lagarde wrote, according to McCartney, “it has become evident that a number of students and faculty members would not welcome me as a commencement speaker. I respect their views, and I understand the vital importance of academic freedom. However, to preserve the celebratory spirit of commencement day, I believe it is best to withdraw my participation.”