Revoke Lamar Alexander's Honorary Doctor-of-Laws Degree from William & Mary
- Taylor Reveley; President of the College of William & Mary in Virginia
- United States of America
Senator Lamar Alexander currently chairs the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions which recently voted to support the nomination of Betsy DeVos for US Secretary of Education.
Throughout the nomination hearings, Senator Alexander stridently supported DeVos, despite her history of devaluing public education and her shockingly obvious lack of qualifications for the position.
In 2002, Senator Alexander received an honorary doctor-of-laws degree during the spring commencement ceremony at The College of William & Mary for his role as "an outspoken advocate for education."
Based on his vocal and legislatively substantive support of a clearly unfit candidate for US Secretary of Education, and based on The College of William & Mary's long and accomplished history as both a publicly-funded institution and its role in advocating for affordable public education, we are asking The College to revoke his honorary Doctor-of-Laws degree.
Dear President Reveley,
Since its founding in 1693, The College of William & Mary has enjoyed a proud history of educating the American public— as well as countless members of the international community— at a consistently outstanding level that is recognized year after year by numerous prestigious academic assessment bodies the world over.
This accomplishment is based in no small part on the high level of financial support The College is able to secure through public funding sources, making it the first and longest- serving public university in the country.
As someone fortunate enough to attend The College at a relatively affordable cost as compared to private universities of equal academic rigor and stature, I understand acutely the importance of providing quality, publicly-supported education opportunities.
I am therefore outraged at the nomination of Betsy DeVos for United States Secretary of Education, and more specifically, the vocal and legislatively substantive support provided to her nomination by Lamar Alexander— chair of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions and recipient of an honorary doctor -of -laws degree at The College’s 2002 commencement ceremony.
With his support for DeVos, Senator Alexander— recognized at the 2002 ceremony by former College President Timothy Sullivan as “an outspoken advocate for education”— has pushed to the fore a nominee unfit for the position both in qualifications and attitude toward public education in the US. The potential damage to our national public education system by the confirmation of DeVos can not be understated, and The College should not allow its reputation as an institution committed to quality, affordable public education to be tarnished by its association with Senator Alexander and his current activities.
Thomas Jefferson, Class of 1762, wisely advised us to “educate and inform the whole mass of the people…... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
In that same spirit, and in opposition to his support for the nomination of Betsy DeVos for US Secretary of Education, I hereby demand that you revoke the honorary doctor -of -law degree bestowed upon Senator Alexander at The College’s 2002 commencement ceremony. To do so will send a strong, unwavering message that the College continues to stand for excellence in education and a commitment to the principles – diversity, creativity and independent thought, sustainability - a that underlie a strong public educational system so that we can continue to change the world together.
The Revoke Lamar Alexander's Honorary Doctor-of-Laws Degree from William & Mary petition to Taylor Reveley; President of the College of William & Mary in Virginia was written by Morgan Johnson and is in the category Education at GoPetition.