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Bush speech sparks "uproar"

President Bush's plan to speak to graduates at Miami Dade College next month has seeingly met with little opposition. Not so at Saint Vincent College, a Benedictine liberal arts school in Iraq war critic Rep. John Murtha's Pennsylvania congressional district.

According to today's Washington Post, Murtha, the school's commencement speaker in 1983, is the second cousin of former Saint Vincent president John F. Murtha, who ran the school from 1985 to 1995. Its current president is Jim Towey, a former Florida social services director who ran President Bush's office of faith-based initiatives.

Towey, who said in a press release that the invitation to Bush was not an "endorsement of his policies or politics," is meeting with the senior class tonight, the Post reports, "and there will be an 'open mike' town hall meeting on April 17 for all 1,600 students to opine."

The faculty, however, has voted 41to 30 to uphold the invitation.

Towey, who worked in former Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles's administration, noted that other invitees to the school, "in addition to Murtha, have included former House speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill and William F. Buckley Jr."