Students from the 2010 graduating class of Syracuse University are protesting the school's decision to have JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speak at this year's commencement because of his company's role in the financial crisis.
More than 900 Syracuse seniors have signed an online petition titled "Take Back 2010 Syracuse University Commencement," which states that the signers do not want "to restore the public image of the banking industry."
Matt Sheehan, a student signer of the petition, wrote next to his signature: "This is a slap in the face to us students. As we enter the work world in this economy, it is an insult to have as a speaker one who bears the responsibility of why we will struggle to gain employment." JPMorgan Chase declined to comment on the petition.
Dimon is still scheduled to speak at the May 15 ceremony. In a letter posted on the school's Web site, Chancellor Nancy Cantor responded to the outcry. "It is rare that a university is able to bring a speaker with a bird's-eye view of, and extensive on-the-ground experience with, a major global challenge, and that was in the forefront of my mind as I made my selection this year."
According to a Syracuse University spokesperson, Cantor was given a list of possible speakers from a student selection committee and Dimon was a top pick on that list.
JPMorgan Chase received $25 billion in federal bailout money in 2009, which it has since repaid.
- CNN's Nicole Bliman contributed to this report.