Timothy Cardinal Dolan Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Feb 06, 1950
Feb 18, 2012
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English Cardinal Timothy Dolan Speaks at LeMoyne Commencement
May 19, 2015
In the weeks leading up to Le Moyne College's 65th commencement, more than 750 people signed an online petition in hopes of a new commencement speaker for the class of 2015.

May 17, 2015

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- But on Sunday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York delivered that speech, urging graduates to use the knowledge and wisdom they gained at school to help others.

"I mentioned to them that classically in our society,  we usually look at the years up through graduation at 'getting' on the receiving end, and now wisdom would have us give it back," Dolan said.  

Students argued Dolan does not embody the values taught at Le Moyne College, including his views on gay marriage. There have also been allegations that he covered up clergy abuse.

Some we caught up with were not aware of the controversy surrounding the Cardinal and thought his speech was moving.

"I actually teared up, it was very beautiful. It was very inspiration to the graduates, and the message of going out to the world and making a difference and looking at the bigger picture," said Kelly Phillips, Cortland resident.

Others though, while they might not agree with Cardinal Dolan's views, they say there's a bigger lesson to be learned.

"I've been here 25 years, open, respectful civil debate, that's what's going to change the world. If you can't talk to each other about it, you're never going to get anywhere. That's what we really try to teach and that's what today was all about," said Le Moyne Education Professor Cathy Leogrand.

We did ask Cardinal Dolan about the petition. He said he only recently became aware of it. He also added it was a freedom of expression.

In total, about 650 students received diplomas Sunday. Cardinal Dolan also received an honorary degree at the ceremony.

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