Winona State University ended the custom of a commencement speaker in 2010. The tradition was cancelled after publicity-mongering Congress member Michele Bachmann, a 1978 WSU grad, suggested she be invited to speak. The university anticipated a campus boycott if the right-wing radical Bachmann were invited.  But how to say no? The university president, Judith Ramaley, adroitly sidestepped a revolt by discontinuing the custom of honorary degrees and commencement speakers. Bachman left Congress in 2015 amid an ethics investigation into campaign finance irregularities in a bungled bid to be the Republican nominee for President. She later expressed interest in the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Al Franken but was waiting, she said,  for instructions from God. The message never came. Later she was an avid supporter of Donald Trump. When Trump lost in 2020, Bachman posted an online prayer: “O, Lord, would you deliver these races in Georgia? O Father, would you deliver various local and state races, Father, that they aren’t stolen? Would you give us a true vote? And, O God, I personally ask, from myself, Michele Bachmann, Lord, would you allow Donald Trump to have a second term as president of the United States?”

Bachmann. Now in retirement in Stillwater. In Congress from 2007 to 2015 from Minnesota’s 6th Congressional district.