VCU Students Walk out of Governor Youngkin’s Graduating Address

Following Gov. Glenn Younkin’s commencement address at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) on Saturday, dozens of graduating students walked out.

As the Republican governor began speaking on Saturday morning, crowds of graduates stood up and left the Greater Richmond Convention Centre. Some could be heard cheering the students on.

The governor, who also got an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the commencement event, began his remarks by congratulating all moms ahead of Mother’s Day. He continued speaking without acknowledging those who were departing.

“The world needs your music,” Youngkin told the pupils still present. “You, all of you, shall become the symphony. Make this a masterpiece.”

Many of those who departed during Youngkin’s address expressed solidarity with Palestinians in the midst of Israel’s ongoing assault against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Others held signs opposing the governor’s education policies, according to local news site WRIC-TV.

The protesters marched around the perimeter, yelling “No books, no peace, let knowledge increase” and “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest.” Later, a gathering of graduates, many still wearing graduation robes, gathered in a park and yelled, “The people united will never be defeated.”

Fox News Digital has reached out to VCU and the governor’s office for comment.

Similar confrontations erupted at other commencement ceremonies across the country on Saturday following weeks of violence on college campuses, where anti-Israel protesters squared off against officials.

Saturday was less chaotic than Friday, when police arrested dozens on other college campuses and dismantled encampments at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, just hours after using tear gas on demonstrators at the University of Arizona.

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