It will be one of only two graduation addresses by Cheney this spring, said spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride, who declined to identify the other school.
"It turns out that in 2006, President Bush was invited and unable to attend," McBride said from Washington. "We reached out this year to the BYU board of trustees. They were excited at the suggestion and sent a formal letter of invitation."
BYU is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is in Utah County, very friendly territory for conservative politicians, 40 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Cheney will find a "very receptive and very hospitable" audience, predicted Kelly Patterson, director of BYU's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy.
I am not sure how I feel about this. My first response is that BYU is overstepping it's grounds by showing political favoritism. It seems to suggest that BYU (The LDS Church) supports the war in Iraq. I know that I have the tendency to jump to conclusions, but it's doubtless that many will view his presence on campus in a similar fashion. Regardless of whether or not this is true, BYU has historically honored it's political neutrality in public. Usually a general authority gives the commencement speech.
On second thought, however, Dick Cheney is currently in office as vice president. So, using that logic it could be considered an honor to have a current political leader speak at our graduation ceremony. Still, it seems very unlikely that BYU would have invited the vice president to speak if he were a Democrat.
I think this is going to turn into one giant controversy à la Michael Moore at UVSC. Expect boos from some members of the audience.