Eckerd College announced this morning that Melissa Harris-Perry, a political science professor and host of a weekend public affairs program on MSNBC, will be giving the commencement address to Eckerd graduates on Sunday May 18.
"I'm honored to address the 2014 graduating class of Eckerd College," Dr. Perry said in a press release. "My own beloved niece is among the graduates, as was her older sister in 2011. Eckerd is truly part of our family now."
Harris-Perry will be moving over to Wake Forest University this summer to be a professor of Politics and International Affairs. She's currently teaching at Tulane University, and before that taught at the University of Chicago and Princeton University. She's also a regular contributor to The Nation
"In an era characterized by impoverished political discourse, Dr. Harris-Perry, through her show, has created a forum for probing many of the vexing political and social issues facing our nation,” said Eckerd President Donald Eastman.
Being on MSNBC invariably brings out conservative critics, though, and Harris-Perry is not immune to their attacks. On Monday contributors to Glenn Beck's Daily Caller website
and on Twitchy
took issue with her call for Democrats to stop being so defensive about the Affordable Care Act. Harris-Perry called on Dems to defend "the most sweeping social policy in decades, who can say that millions of people now have affordable health insurance that they didn’t have before. And they’re not even owning it. No confidence, no swagger. No, 'Yeah, you can’t keep your crappy plans. Just deal with that!'"