ST. LOUIS, May 16 (UPI) -- Hundreds of graduates turned their backs on conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly Friday Washington University in St. Louis gave her an honorary degree.
Some faculty members joined the silent protest, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. But most of the 14,000 people at commencement ceremonies did not protest.
Schlafly, like the five others who received honorary degrees this year, was nominated by a member of the community and approved unanimously by a committee of students, faculty, trustees and administrators, Chancellor Mark Wrighton said. The university board of trustees gave final approval to the list.
Five students who served on the board of trustees' honorary degree committee wrote Wrighton complaining that they had to vote on the six honorees as a slate, giving them no chance to register disapproval for individual candidates.
Also receiving degrees were Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball"; jazz great Quincy Jones; Lee Seng Tee, a philanthropist and business executive; and two emeritus professors at Washington, Egon Schwarz in humanities and Jessie L. Ternberg in pediatrics and pediatric surgery.