Saturday, 2:15 PM
By Peter Schworm, Globe Staff
Former radical William Ayers did not deliver a campus lecture today, contradicting a previous student announcement that he would speak from Chicago by teleconference.
Patrick Rombalski, BC's vice president of student affairs, said in a statement that administrators cancelled the lecture "out of concern for the safety and well-being of our students and respect for the local community where the alleged actions of the Weather Underground continue to reverberate today."
Student groups had announced last night that administrators had agreed to allow Ayers to deliver his lecture from Chicago at 6 p.m. via satellite, but administrators today said they had never approved the talk.
Boston College said it had received hundreds of complaints about Ayers since Boston radio host Michael Graham discussed Ayers' visit on air during his Friday program. Many of the complaints were Boston police officers who threatened to protest the event, said college spokesman Jack Dunn.
Many local critics cited the Weather Underground's alleged involvement with the murder of a Boston police officer, Walter Schroeder, during a 1970 bank robbery in Brighton.
"The emotional scars of the murder of Boston Police Sergeant Walter Schroeder, allegedly at the hands of the Weather Underground, which left nine children fatherless in the shadows of this campus, was an issue that we could not ignore," Dunn said in a statement. "Our student organizers, who are in their early 20's, cannot fully understand the reaction that this painful chapter in our history evokes in this community.''
Ayers and other former Underground members have denied they were connected to the Brighton crime.