SAN JOSE — Former anti-war activist Tom Hayden was named honorary Teacher of the Year during a surprise appearance at San Jose City College Friday, despite threats that local Vietnamese groups would disrupt the speech Hayden had been scheduled to make.
Hayden, who has never been a teacher, received the award from the man who was supposed to receive it, social science instructor Jack Burrows.
Burrows had declined the award because of the college's decision to cancel Hayden's speech. When Hayden, now a Democratic assemblyman from Santa Monica, took the stage to thank the college faculty and students, he received a loud ovation from many, but was also hooted in both English and Vietnamese by people who opposed his appearance.
Hayden's appearance at the commencement exercises was kept a secret in an effort to keep the ceremony at San Jose Civic Auditorium peaceful.