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Wesleyan College Faculty Condemns Commencement Speech

May 25, 2021

Thirty faculty members at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., signed a letter rejecting remarks made by Sarah Chervenak in her commencement address to the Class of 2021 earlier this month, WGXA reports.

Chervenak, a graduate of Wesleyan College and a retired FBI agent, used part of her speech to criticize the rise of "critical theory," "identity politics" and "cancel culture" in the United States, which she partly blamed on institutions of higher education that "push a dangerous form of indoctrination versus education."

"Rather than being exposed to diverse ideas, students are taught a given perspective," Chervenak said in her address. "Rather than learning how to sharpen critical thinking skills, students are taught critical theories that adopt a core tenet that oppression and injustice is present in America's founding principles and in all interactions and thus, must be detected and dismantled."

Within 24 hours, faculty responded to her remarks, stating they were "shocked" and "appalled" by the speech and apologizing for the harm inflicted on students.

"While we respect everyone's right to their political opinions, it is unacceptable to use a day meant to honor our students, and an invitation to send them off with words of wisdom, as an opportunity to give an ideological screed," the faculty wrote. "We condemn the anti-Black dog whistles and canned anti-education talking-points that peppered the speaker's remarks."

The letter said the commencement address went against the core of Wesleyan College's values and was an "overt attack on the liberal arts."

The college has not issued an official statement regarding the address.

We have retired comments and introduced Letters to the Editor. Letters may be sent to [email protected].

Read the Letters to the Editor  »


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