As President Obama makes a fundraising tour for the Democratic party through Texas, St. Edward’s University has announced its decision to decline a White House request for the president to speak on campus. The college cited timing issues as the primary motive for its decision.
St. Edward’s University, which was founded by Fr. Edward Sorin of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the same priest who founded the University of Notre Dame, sits on a hill top in Austin, Texas. It reports enrolling around 5,000 students and a commitment to critical thinking, social justice and ethical practice.
When President Obama made his recent visit to Austin, the college was asked to be a venue for a presidential speech. However, the school declined the offer.
“St. Edward’s University is honored to have been considered a potential venue for President Obama’s recent visit to Austin,” said university spokeswoman Mischelle Diaz in a Wednesday statement. “Regretfully, it was not a good time for us to consider this. With the short notice provided – only 3 to 4 days – a visit of this importance and magnitude would have been difficult for a campus of our size.”
Diaz noted that a presidential visit “requires and deserves more resources than we were able to provide at the time.” She also mentioned that the university’s staff is busy preparing for the new school year in a variety of ways.
As part of their “thoughtful consideration” of the visit, Diaz noted that, since school is not yet in session, “the vast majority of our student body, and many faculty members, would not be present to participate in a presidential visit.”
Although some reports have drawn parallels between St. Edward’s University and the University of Notre Dame, which attracted the ire of many Catholics by honoring President Obama at its commencement exercises, Diaz informed CNA “as the statement explains, our reasons were logistical.”