Freeman, 66

In response to the Charlottesville tragedy over the weekend, we are posting a portion of our interview with UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski III. Although it took place more than a month ago, his words and his sentiment apply very well to today:

“I gave several commencement addresses this year, and I quoted John Kennedy from his inauguration in 1961. He said, ‘Civility is not a sign of weakness.’ It’s a powerful statement. Then I quoted what people of a certain age think is obvious, but young people don’t today: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ For my generation and the next, we’ve heard it so much that you forget what it means. But the younger generations don’t have the beauty of that kind of idealism. It’s our responsibility to remind them that we’ve had other periods in our country of challenges and also moments of grace. And we do get through; this too shall pass and substance will remain. Whatever is substantive will be sustained.”

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