Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State, has announced that she will not speak at Rutgers University's graduation following protests. 

According to the Associated Press, students and faculty protested Rice's appearance due to her involvement with the war in Iraq as part of the Bush administration. Despite the resistance, Rutgers President Robert Barchi and other school administrators refused to turn Rice away from the May 18 commencement ceremony after agreeing to pay her $35,000. 

In a statement issued today, Rice said she did not want to be a distraction: 

"Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families," Rice said. "Rutgers' invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time."

[via Associated Press]

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