Former Dutchess County prosecutor G. Gordon Liddy, a Nixon administration official who served four and a half years in prison for his role as the head of the 1972 Watergate break-in, spoke in the Chapel.  The address, "Government: Public Perception versus Reality," one he gave frequently on college campuses between 1981 and 1984, contained severe criticism of "Operation Eagle Claw," the Carter administration's failed attempt in 1980 to rescue American hostages in Iran, and reiterated Liddy's insistence that the Watergate break-in, while illegal, was not immoral.

A vocal group of students and faculty declared it wasn’t right or ethical to pay Liddy's $4,000 fee for speaking at the college.