Wingnut irritates graduating class
St. Thomas honor student apologizes for grad speech
The commencement speech, with reprimands for birth-control use and a recent food fight, sparked boos and walkouts.
Curt Brown, Star Tribune
A University of St. Thomas honors graduate who scolded his fellow seniors at Saturday's commencement ceremony for being "selfish" apologized Monday for offending people during his politically charged speech.
Ben Kessler, an academic All-America football player who plans to become a priest, chastised students for using birth control, criticized them for a recent food fight and upheld the St. Paul university's controversial policy against allowing unmarried faculty and staff members in romantic relationships to room together on school trips that involve students.
"Then he got into other failures of society, and one of my classmates next to me stood up and left," said Daphne Ho, a graduating senior whose family traveled from Hong Kong for the celebration.
Present for his 15-minute speech at O'Shaughnessy Stadium on the school's campus were Archbishop Harry Flynn, other dignitaries and more than 900 graduates.
The speech prompted booing and walkouts.
"The heart of the speech was about making selfish decisions, so when I went up to get my diploma afterwards, I told him he made some good points about being selfish -- and he's the man that was selfish enough to ruin hundreds of people's graduations," Kearney said.
Several students were seen crying, while others hollered to get Kessler off the stage. Brandon Mileski, a 2002 St. Thomas graduate, was in the crowd to watch his girlfriend receive her diploma.
"Dozens of students literally started walking out when he brought up birth control issues and, at one point, I thought a riot would break out," Mileski said. "I give him credit because he kept on going when everyone started booing and heckling.
"At one point he was talking about the meaning of true happiness and someone stood up and screamed: 'I'll be happy when your speech in done!' "
He wants to be a priest and cares about how people fuck. Hmmmm, great combination. What a little prick,lecturing people about something he has no plans on doing.
posted by Steve @ 1:19:00 AM