Tuskegee Prez Horde Obama Tickets
TUSKEGEE (Cascade Press)
Is Tuskegee University President Brian Johnson hoarding tickets for First Lady Michelle Obama’s appearance at next month’s spring commencement exercises?
After much teasing on social media by Johnson concerning this year’s speaker, Tuskegee University recently announced that First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address on May 9. According to the university website, Mrs. Obama” will address about 500 graduates, as well as their friends, family and members of the university community.”
While several U. S. Presidents have delivered the commencement address on the historic Tuskegee campus, this year will mark the first time a First Lady has addressed Tuskegee graduates.
Prior to Mrs. Obama the most famous First Lady to visit Tuskegee was Eleanor Roosevelt, who visited participants in the Tuskegee Airmen program. Mrs. Roosevelt’s visit forced the army’s hand in approving black pilots for duty during World War II.
Following the Obama announcement, the campus was ecstatic. Critics finally had to concede that President Johnson had done something good by not botching former Tuskegee University President Gilbert Rochon’s invitation for President Obama to deliver a commencement speech at Tuskegee. Rochon had made the invitation to President Obama on a visit to see his brother, who at the time was a White House Usher.
That euphoria was short lived. Before graduates could text their parents that they would get to see Mrs. Obama during graduation, news came from the university that seating inside Chappie James Arena would be severely restricted. Graduates and their parents believe that the restrictions are due to a large block of reserved tickets being used to accommodate friends and family members of President Johnson.
Parents and family members would be accommodated in an overflow room and can watch the commencement exercises on a big screen television. This does not set well with students or parents. These restrictions will require some parents and family members to compete with members of the university community for seating in the overflow area.
It was first thought that the available seating would be used to accommodate the faculty and staff. Later, it was announced that there would not be any seats for members of the faculty or staff in the arena.
Rumors abound that Johnson has reduced seating in the arena by providing reserved seating to his family, friends and political connections. Everything Johnson does is embroiled in controversy. Now it seems, he has managed to embroil the First Lady of the United States of America in one of his micro-management schemes.
“I won’t have a chance to be in the room to see my daughter graduate,”said one anonymous parent.
“That’s why Johnson has to be fired, said one anonymous alumni,who has children enrolled at the university, “everything he does is for his own self-aggrandizement.”
If the parents of graduates, faculty members and staff are not sitting in the assembly hall during spring commencement 2015, who will be sitting in those seats and why is it more important for them to be present and not the parents and grandparents?
According to another parent, “My daughter met a non Tuskegee student who told her she had a ticket to see Mrs. Obama during her visit to Tuskegee. This lady worked in the office of a local senator.”
Many alumni are pointing to the manner in which Johnson has handled the seating arrangements at commencement as another example of why he is too inexperienced to serve as president. Several of them have posted a petition on Change.org to have Johnson fired at the end of the school term.
Here is a link to the petition to remove Johnson as President of Tuskegee University.
Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org