Commencement remarks of Dr. David Loy, ’69: Working for divestment, and creating good karma

First, thanks to Professor Jackson for his kind words, and to the college for this truly unexpected honor [an honorary doctoral degree].  The last time I was on campus was for my own graduation back in 1969, which was special for a very different reason.  At that time the Vietnam War was at its height, and graduation meant the end of draft deferments for men, which meant we were eligible to be drafted and sent to fight in Vietnam.  A few months earlier, however, two other seniors (Harold Henderson and Paul Smith) and I had decided (after much discussion and soul-searching) that the Vietnam War was immoral, illegal, and just plain stupid, and that we would refuse to cooperate.  So we sent our draft cards back to our local boards, and after graduation I worked with the Draft Resistance movement in San Francisco, while waiting for an induction notice that I would refuse, which would probably lead to a felony conviction and a few years in federal prison. But just a couple weeks before that would have happened, the Selective Service changed their method of selection into a lottery according to birthday, and ironically all three of us had low numbers, so none of us was ever drafted.

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