Gov. Bruce Rauner talks at a press conference after speaking at the afternoon commencement ceremony. Rauner was invited to speak at the ceremony before proposing to cut funding to the university by $44 million. An online petition, which reached 2,700 signatures, was begun last month in an attempt to have him removed as the keynote speaker, stating that “Choosing him as a keynote speaker is a slap in the face to SIU students and faculty who alreay deal with underfunded programs and facilties.”