Liz Cheney, Colorado College

April 2023
Colorado College (Private college or university)
Colorado Springs, CO

Identity of Speakers

  • liz Cheney
    Invited for academic lecture

    Attorney and politician

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    University-sponsored lecture/address/panel
    Rally or protest
    Other student-organized event
    Course Content
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Right wing
  • Incident Responses:
    Faculty sanctioned
    Student sanctioned
    Rally or Protests
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • Was Speech Code incident


Colorado College invited Republican politician Liz Cheney to speak as the college’s commencement speaker. Liz Cheney served as the United States representative for Wyoming’s congressional district from 2017 to 2023 and is a Colorado College alum.

Following the announcement students and facility began pushback efforts stating that Cheney did not represent student or college values and principles. This manifested in a variety of forms including newspaper articles, posters around campus, and discussions with the president of the college.

Cheney’s introduction was met with applause, but many chose to protest her appearance by turning their chairs during the speech. Additionally, the local newspaper in Colorado Springs, reported that more than half of the 450 graduates chose to turn their backs. Students who spoke at the commencement spoke about free speech and open discussion in attempt to express concern about her ‘hateful’ political views.