It was with sadness that I read about Bishop David Zubik's position on the commencement address and awarding of an honorary degree by the University of Notre Dame to President Barack Obama ("Bishop Says Notre Dame Wrong to Honor Obama," April 23). As a graduate of Notre Dame, I believe the bishop misses the mark.
When my daughter applied to Notre Dame some years ago, as part of the application process, she was to write a report on one of a selection of books. She chose "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In it, Dr. King envisions an America that is a better place by advancing the acceptance and equality of all America's people. It is inspiring. Including this book as part of the admission process says volumes for the university about its mission of promoting unity among all Americans regardless of race, color or creed.
Now the university has invited the president to deliver the commencement address. Barack Obama is the fulfillment of the dream of Dr. King as he wrote from the Birmingham jail years ago. President Obama has persuaded a majority of Americans to look beyond race in electing him to lead our nation. He has restored our international relationships, recognized science as fact-based and nonpolitical and disavowed torture.
As a non-Catholic, Mr. Obama may hold different religious beliefs and is free to do so. The university is and should be proud to honor this president.
JOHN F. BECKER