Dozens of Liberty University graduates have vowed to return their diplomas in an effort to protest the Lynchburg, Virginia, university’s support of Donald Trump. According to the “Return Your Diploma to LU” Facebook page, alumni are being encouraged to mail their diplomas, via USPS, to the office of Jerry Falwell Jr. on September 5, 2017.
Georg Hamann, who created the Facebook group, claims Liberty University students and alumni “have been concerned for some time… with the leadership and direction of Liberty University.” However, Jerry Falwell Jr.’s unwavering support of Donald Trump, amid the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, North Carolina, prompted Hamann and dozens of others to surrender their college diplomas in protest.
As stated on the Facebook page, which currently has 175 supporters, Hamann hopes the gesture will prompt “the Board of Trustees to remove Falwell from the administration of” Liberty University.
Chris Gaumer, who helps Hamann run the Facebook group, has also been an outspoken critic of Falwell’s decision to support Donald Trump. In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Gaumer suggested Liberty University and its president are essentially “siding with Nazi and white supremacist sympathizers.”
As reported by Huffington Post, Jerry Falwell Jr. is not concerned about the planned protest. In his opinion, his support of Donald Trump is simply “misunderstood.”
Falwell vehemently denied claims that he supports white supremacist groups. However, he admitted that he fully supports President Trump. In a recent interview, the Liberty University president explained that he admires Donald Trump’s honesty, openness, and willingness to speak his mind — even when his opinion is “politically incorrect.”
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) August 20, 2017
Although the Facebook group has nearly 200 supporters, it is unclear how many Liberty University graduates are willing to surrender their diplomas in protest of Falwell’s support of President Trump. It is also unclear whether the university’s leaders will consider ousting Jerry Falwell Jr. to avoid further controversy.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 20, 2017
The Liberty University graduates who do mail their diplomas back to Falwell will technically still be graduates of the college and will maintain their credentials. However, they hope the gesture will prompt administrators to further examine Falwell’s political stance and its subsequent impact on the university and its students.
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