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Liberty Grads Will Return Diplomas to Protest Trump

August 21, 2017
 
 

A group of alumni have announced plans to return their Liberty University degrees as a protest against President Donald Trump.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has been an outspoken supporter of Trump since the 2016 presidential campaign, and Trump was the institution’s commencement speaker in May. 

The alumni planning to return their diplomas started gathering in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Va., to protest Falwell’s continued support of the president. Trump’s remarks, days after the protests that left a woman demonstrating against the assembled white supremacists dead, were decried by many -- except, notably, white supremacists, who embraced them as supportive.

"I'm sending my diploma back because the president of the United States is defending Nazis and white supremacists," Chris Gaumer, 2006 student government president, told NPR. "And in defending the president's comments, Jerry Falwell Jr. is making himself and, it seems to me, the university he represents, complicit."

In several tweets, Falwell said that he supported Trump’s remarks.

“Finally a leader in [the White House]. Jobs returning, N Korea backing down, bold truthful [statement] about #charlottesville tragedy. So proud of @realdonaldtrump,” he said. “The truth as stated by @realDonaldTrump is that violent white supemacists [sic], Nazi, KKK and similar hate groups are pure evil and un-American."

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