Excerpts from memorandum about Commencement speakers

From Media Relations Director Tracy Schario to Vice President of Communications Mike Freedman, with other officials carbon-copied

“Traditionally, the official announcement of the Commencement line-up is released in late April or early May – approximately four weeks before the event. The GW Hatchet has confirmed and published this information prior to the official announcement several times.”

“In any given year, there are a variety of factors which influence the timing of the announcement and the decision to confirm details prior to the official release of the information. For the 2007 Commencement on the Mall and the Law School Diploma ceremony, I recommend that we make the speaker and honorary degree announcements the week of April 16 for several reasons. Primarily, we should be in front of the news and be the first to confirm President Trachtenberg as the Commencement on the Mall keynote and Chairman Manatt as the keynote for the Law School Diploma Ceremony.”

“There are already rumors about President Trachtenberg giving the keynote address. Announcing this declaratively will allow us to more effectively present a complete package of the Commencement platform party and their credentials. The Hatchet is already trying to confirm the rumor. If they are successful prior [to] an official announcement, they may question why the University is withholding the information. At the moment, we remain on the defensive.”

“If we make/confirm the speakers in mid-April, there will be time for students, faculty, staff and alumni to react to the news. There may be letters to the editor or emails to administrators – both in favor and in opposition to the speakers. We should be open to this dialogue, even if it means that those dissatisfied may have additional time to complain. It may help us gage [sic] if there will be a protest or demonstration so that we may plan accordingly.”

“I favor being in front of the news – making it, not reacting to it.”

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