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Texas Tech Invites Rice as Commencement Speaker

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    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks during a news conference at the Department of State January 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    Texas Tech University has invited ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take her pick and speak at summer, fall or 2015 graduation ceremonies after protests against her planned appearance at Rutgers University.

    Chancellor Kent Hance on Monday sent a letter to Rice and invited her to be the commencement speaker for ceremonies Aug. 9, Dec. 12-13 or May 15-16, 2015, in Lubbock. Hance calls Rice a "distinguished diplomat and great leader."

    Rice planned to deliver the May 18 commencement address at Rutgers but later declined following protests by some faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War. Rice said her appearance would distract from the graduation celebration.

    Rice is a political science professor at Stanford University. Messages left Tuesday with Stanford for Rice weren't immediately returned.