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Top IMF official withdraws from Smith commencement

BOSTON (AP) — The managing director of the International Monetary Fund has withdrawn as Smith College’s 2014 commencement speaker after some faculty and students protested.

The women’s college in Northampton announced Monday that Christine Lagarde said it was clear that many did not want her on campus.

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An online petition with hundreds of signatures said Lagarde represents a corrupt system that fuels the oppression and abuse of women worldwide.

Lagarde, who was the first woman to hold the top position in the IMF, said she did not want her presence to distract from a joyous occasion.

Smith President Kathleen McCartney said in a statement issued to the school community that she stands by the decision to invite Lagarde.

Former Smith and current Brown University President Ruth Simmons stepped in as the May 18 commencement speaker.

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