International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine LaGarde at a news conference April 30, 2014. / Cliff Owen, AP
BOSTON (AP) - The managing director of the International Monetary Fund has withdrawn as Smith College's commencement speaker after faculty and student protests.
The women's college in Northampton, Mass., announced Christine Lagarde's withdrawal Monday. According to the college, she said it was clear that many did not want her on campus and that she did not want to distract from a joyous occasion.
An online petition with hundreds of signatures said Lagarde represents a corrupt system that fuels the oppression and abuse of women worldwide.
Smith President Kathleen McCartney said in a statement issued to the school community that she stands by the decision to invite Lagarde, the first woman to hold the IMF's top position.
Brown University President Ruth Simmons, former president of Smith, is stepping in as the May 18 commencement speaker.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Read the original story: IMF director Lagarde withdraws from Smith commencement