Collection of George Will visit to Michigan State University protest signs and other materials Edit


MSS 439 mapcase


  • 2014 (Creation)


  • .1 Linear Feet (Whole)
    One single file of posters and miscellaneous text.

Agent Links



  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.

  • Preferred Citation

    Box number, Folder number and/or title, Collection of George Will visit to Michigan State University protest signs and other materials, MSS 439, Special Collections, Michigan State University Main Library

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Material donated anonymously by protesters. Items collected from protesters and given to Special Collections by Megan Hughey.

  • Processing Information

    The collection was processed by Andrew Lundeen.

  • Biographical / Historical

    On June 6, 2014, conservative columnist George F. Will wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post on the reported prevalence of sexual assaults on U.S. college campuses. In the column, Will argued that university rape statistics may be inflated, suggesting that when colleges and universities “make victimhood a coveted status that confers privilege,” young women are inclined to falsify or exaggerate reports of sexual assault against them.Will’s comments sparked controversy across the nation, especially from victims of sexual assault and victim advocacy groups. When it was announced in early December 2014 that Will would be one of two speakers at MSU’s Fall 2014 commencement ceremony (along with filmmaker Michael Moore), many students were outraged. Some petitioned MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon to uninvite Will, gathering over 70,000 signatures from students, faculty, and concerned community members. Dozens of students marched through campus on Wednesday, Dec. 10, protesting Will’s appointment and presenting the President’s office with the signed petitions. However, President Simon did not relent.In response to the University’s refusal to rescind Will’s speaking invitation, over 100 protesters gathered outside Breslin Center on the day of commencement, Dec. 13, 2014. They carried signs and banners expressing their solidarity with victims of sexual assault, as well as their outrage at the University’s decision to retain Will as commencement speaker. In addition, some students and faculty boycotted the official MSU commencement and held an alternative ceremony that same day, the Michigan State University Surviving and Thriving Celebration.

  • Scope and Contents

    This collection includes several large protest signs from the December 2014 demonstrations against MSU’s Fall commencement speaker, George F. Will, as well as material from an alternative commencement ceremony, the Michigan State University Surviving and Thriving Celebration.