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Believe It Or Not: Jeremiah Wright, Honorary Degree Recipient From Northwestern University, No More

Well, not exactly. What is true is that Jeremiah Wright was to receive an honorary doctorate in sacred theology from Northwestern University. Based in Evanston, Illinois, it was to bestow this degree at its coming commencement exercises this June.

Something interfered. The quite distinguished institution heard who Jeremiah Wright really was and in what he believed.

How did Wright, of all people, come to be selected as a Northwestern honoree?  "Earlier this academic year," the university, "acting on the recommendation of faculty committees" (of course), invited the rowdy black theology preacher to receive its S.T.D.  (No, this does not mean sexually transmitted disease.)

This is another index of the decline of standards at some of our universities.

But Northwestern generally has done better than most. Its college and professional schools are among the best.

In any case, Henry Bienen, the university president, stepped in quickly and told Wright he was not wanted. Wright now accuses Bienen of saying he was rescinding the invitation because the parson was not sufficiently "patriotic." If Bienen said that, I'll eat my hat.

The university's public relations people put out a statement that Northwestern did not want to mar the "celebratory" nature of commencement. Which is not the whole truth. But it suffices.