NEWS ITEM:"South Kingstown, R.I. (AP) -- The president of...


April 28, 1994


"South Kingstown, R.I. (AP) -- The president of the University of Rhode Island rejected feminist leader Patricia Ireland as a graduation speaker, replacing her with a man the campus selection committee never considered.

"Committee chairman William Lynn McKinney, an education professor, said he'll quit the selection group because of the decision by school president Robert Carothers.

"In a memo obtained by the campus newspaper, the Good 5 Cent Cigar, McKinney told the committee Carothers rejected Ireland for the May 22 commencement because she was 'too controversial.'

"Carothers named Leonard Coleman Jr., president of baseball's National League, as the keynote speaker. The name was new to McKinney.

" 'No one on the committee had ever heard of Leonard Coleman,' " he wrote.

The name Leonard Coleman Jr. was a new one for those of us working for Salmagundi, too. And we're loaded with fanatical baseball fans.

Says something about the chaotic management of major league baseball by team owners, doesn't it?

At least graduating students at Rhode Island University will have a bit of trivia with which to remember their final day on campus, even if they wind up with a pretty lame excuse for a speaker.

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