Ángel Cabrera got a lot of guff for agreeing to rename the George Mason University Law School after the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in exchange for a $30 million donation.
The GMU president defended the decision on its merits, saying Scalia is considered a “great jurist who had a profound impact on the legal field,” while praising the fight over the name (led by non-law school faculty) as indicative of “our diversity and our commitment to free and open dialogue.”
Today, the Spanish-born Cabrera showed again why he’s such a classy university president.
In a message to the GMU community about Republican Donald Trump’s election victory, Cabrera reiterated the university’s core principles, particularly its gold-plated commitment to free speech:
Today, more than ever, we must keep working hard to help students of all backgrounds learn and grow. We must double down on our scholarship to deepen our understanding of the world we live in and to find new solutions to the complex issues that we face.
We must reaffirm our commitment to embracing a multitude of people and ideas in everything that we do, to respecting differences, and to protecting the freedom of all members of our community to seek truth and express their views.
He said he’s heard “too many stories of students and faculty feeling fearful about their place in society and in our university” since the election results were announced:
Let me be clear:
If you are Muslim or Jewish or Christian, you belong at Mason.
If you grew up in Mexico City, Islamabad, or Roanoke, you belong at Mason.
If you are part of the LGBT community, you belong at Mason.
If you are Black or Brown or White, you belong at Mason.
If you voted for Clinton or for Trump or anyone else, you belong at Mason.
Whatever your background is, your uniqueness represents the very essence and incredible strength of our university. You make Mason, Mason.
The most notable thing about his message is it doesn’t include the most overused, meaningless word in academia today: “hate.”
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