Syracuse University students are petitioning the school to remove JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon as this year's commencement ceremony speaker.
The students are "against using the 2010 commencement to restore the public image of the banking industry," according to the online petition posted by the student group Take Back 2010 Syracuse University Commencement. More than 800 students and alumni of the university in Syracuse signed.
The global financial crisis that began in 2008 affected students across the U.S. More than 90% of universities saw demand for student aid increase for the 2009-10 school year over the previous period, according to a survey by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in Washington. And U.S. lawmakers have questioned Dimon and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein about their companies' role in the meltdown.
Dimon's name was on a list of candidate speakers that was compiled by students, said Chancellor Nancy Cantor in an open letter. He was chosen as the main speaker for commencement because of his rare, extensive experience with a "major global challenge," she said in the April 9 letter.
Jennifer Zuccarelli, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase, declined to comment. Kevin Quinn, the university's senior vice president for public affairs, said the school will not rescind Dimon's invitation.