Notre Dame's commencement ceremonies may be overshadowed by pro-life demonstrations related to the University's decision to not only invite Barack Obama as the commencement speaker, but also to grant him an honorary degree. As of 5.11.2009, over 300,000 signatures had been gathered in an online petition against the administrators' decision. While I don't think the school should ban him from speaking on campus, the commencement address of a Catholic institution is not an appropriate venue. Even if this were acceptable, there is no logical reason to award him an honorary degree. While inviting the current President to speak during his tenure may have become something of a school tradition, awarding degrees to men who disagree with the major tenants of the university is not.