Liberty Alums Give Back Diploma in Trump Protest

'I'll have to have my mom dig it out of storage'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2017 9:01 AM CDT
Liberty Alums Give Back Diploma in Trump Protest
In this photo taken May 13, 2017, President Trump stands with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. in Lynchburg, Va. Falwell, an early backer of Trump, said the president had made a “bold truthful statement” about the demonstration.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

President Trump has long enjoyed the backing of Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., but a group of the evangelical school's alumni are taking an unusual stand against that support in the wake of the violence in neighboring Charlottesville, Va. "I'm sending my diploma back because the president of the United States is defending Nazis and white supremacists," 2006 graduate Chris Gaumer tells NPR, which calls the protesters a "small but growing number." "And in defending the president's comments, Jerry Falwell Jr. is making himself and, it seems to me, the university he represents, complicit."

Falwell tweeted after Trump's "many sides" statement that it was "bold truthful stmt about #charlottesville tragedy.So proud of @realdonaldtrump." Falwell has since condemned white supremacist groups, and a Liberty rep tells NPR that he "wants to make it clear that he considers all hate groups evil and condemns them in every sense of the word." For some alums, that tipping point means doing a little searching. "I'll have to have my mom dig it out of storage," says one. "But I do plan to send back my diploma to Liberty." (More Liberty University stories.)

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