Dozens protest Pence at Taylor University commencement

UPLAND, Ind. (AP) — Dozens of graduates and faculty have protested the selection of Vice President Mike Pence as the commencement speaker at Taylor University in Indiana by walking out moments before his introduction.

The Indianapolis Star reports the protesters in caps and gowns rose and quietly walked down the aisle and out of the auditorium in the Kesler Student Activities Center at the university in Upland, Indiana.

The protest was planned and discussed prior to Saturday's ceremony. Some faculty and students at the nondenominational Christian liberal arts school debated the appropriateness of the former Indiana governor at the commencement ceremony.

Most of Taylor's graduating class did not leave. Pence received a standing ovation.

Graduate Laura Rathburn said Pence's "presence makes it difficult for everyone at Taylor to feel welcomed."

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VP Mike Pence Abroad
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence listens to Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela while delivering a joint message at the Presidential Palace in Panama City, Panama, August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Lemos
Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela (L) and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence deliver a joint message at the Presidential Palace in Panama City, Panama, August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Lemos
Panama's deputy Foreign Minister Luis Hincapie (R) talks to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence upon his arrival to the Tocumen international airport in Panama City, Panama, August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Lemos
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (R) shakes hands with Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela after delivering a joint message at the Presidential Palace in Panama City, Panama, August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Lemos
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence meet at the government house in Santiago, Chile August 16, 2017.REUTERS/Esteban Felix/Pool
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives to meet with Chile's President Michelle Bachelet (not pictured) at the government house in Santiago, Chile August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen arrive at the International Airport of Santiago, Chile August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
Argentina's Vice President Gabriela Michetti and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shake hands at the Eva Peron hall inside The Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
A man holds a sign that reads "Pence, get out - Trump, get out" during a protest outside the U.S. Embassy against the visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks next to Argentina's President Mauricio Macri during a news conference at the Olivos Presidential Residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shake hands at the Olivos Presidential Residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos greets U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after his arrival in Cartagena, Colombia August 13, 2017. Colombian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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