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Stanford Checking Gorbachev Graduation Invite

November 26, 1985

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) _ Inviting Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to present the June commencement address is ″an interesting idea″ and will be investigated, Stanford University’s president said Tuesday.

In a brief statement, Donald Kennedy said he will make ″some preliminary inquiries″ into the proposal, first suggested by some graduating seniors and supported by 500 seniors who signed a petition.

A panel recommends speakers, but Kennedy will make the final decision.

The Stanford Daily, the campus newspaper, backed Gorbachev in an editorial on Monday.

″Hosting Gorbachev would be a real coup for Stanford, demonstrating the seriousness with which this institution takes its role in influencing U.S. and international policy and training policy-makers from around the world,″ the editorial said.

Mark Fleischauer, Dave Icke, Erin Olson and Charlie Cosovich, four students involved in the petition drive, said they contacted the State Department and the Soviet Embassy in Washington about the invitation.

An embassy spokesperson said Gorbachev would consider a formal invitation, but suggested leaving the date open in case Gorbachev was not available on commencement day, June 15, said Fleischauer.

The next meeting between Gorbachev and President Reagan is scheduled for June in the U.S.

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