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Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice backed out of giving the commencement address at Rutgers University on May 18 amid growing protests from students and faculty. "Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families," Rice said in a statement. "I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way." About 50 students had staged a sit-in in a Rutgers administration building to protest Rice's speech, and faculty groups were planning a "teach-in" to discuss the issue with students and the public.