EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — While students at Michigan State are out for Christmas break, the Board of Trustees hosted a private ceremony to unveil a portrait of the school’s former president Lou Anna K. Simon, who resigned amid the Larry Nasar scandal.

The ceremony started at the Breslin Center at 12 p.m. and protestors met up outside the basketball stadium to show their disapproval, with one person even writing in chalk on the sidewalk ‘Simon Knew.’

More than a dozen protestors were out in the cold.

Some said that today’s ceremony was more proof that the Board of Trustees is “out of touch.”

Jordan Covach is the President of the Associated Students of Michigan State University, and she said that the timing of the ceremony is purposeful.

“This was purposely done this week so people couldn’t make it. It was purposely done when students had already left for the break and when people were home visiting their families,” said Covach. “So that people wouldn’t come to the protest.”

Protestors draw ‘Simon Knew’ outside Breslin Center

Covach even questioned Simon’s getting a portrait.

“Even though she was complacent in the fact that hundreds of women were sexually abused by Larry Nassar here,” continued Covach.

The portrait of Simon was included in her 2019 retirement agreement, but many people have called to question why they are holding a ceremony for the honor.

As the protest on Monday showed, many who are aware of Simon’s controversial history with the Larry Nassar case are not happy.

The ceremony was originally supposed to take place at the Cowles House on MSU’s campus, but once invites were sent out, it was moved to the Breslin Center to accommodate capacity limits.

So who attended? MSU’s interim president Teresa Woodruff confirmed she would be at the event, along with Simon herself and other trustee members.

Simon was charged in November of 2018 with several counts of lying to a peace officer in the Larry Nassar case, but those charges were dropped back in May of 2020.