Convicted Philadelphia cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal has been selected as the commencement speaker for a Vermont college.
Goddard CollegeÂ announced that the infamous inmate will address its graduates at Sunday’s ceremony.
Undergraduate students receiving their degrees selected Abu-Jamal as their commencement speaker, the Plainfield, Vt., school said.
Abu-Jamal was convicted in the 1981 slaying of Officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death. The high-profile and long-running case was in the news for decades as Abu-Jamal fought the death penalty; the sentence was later reduced to life in prison without parole.
Goddard said Abu-Jamal’s speech was prerecorded by Prison Radio.
The college says it holds 20 commencement ceremonies each year so students in each degree program can have personalized graduations.
“As a reflection of Goddardâ€™s individualized and transformational educational model, our commencements are intimate affairs where each student serves as her or his own valedictorian, and each class chooses its own speaker,” Goddard College Interim President Bob Kenny said in aÂ statement. “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”
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