President Bob Iuliano joins College Presidents for Civic Preparedness to advance civil discourse in higher education

President Bob Iuliano
Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano

Recognizing this moment in time and the intersection of higher education and democracy, Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano joins 60 other college presidents from institutions across the nation as part of College Presidents for Civic Preparedness to advance civil discourse and prepare students to be engaged citizens.

Gettysburg College readies its students to lead lives of consequence and to explore the complex questions of our time through effective leadership and socially responsible citizenship. Every year, it continues to build upon its history to reinforce the importance of civic engagement. Currently, the College is planning a campus-wide series of programs to deepen students’ ability to talk constructively across difference. The Eisenhower Institute, which prepares young adults for a lifetime of public, private, and nonprofit service, is also continuing its focus on non-partisan discourse.

“There is a basic if oft-stated truth about democracy: it is not a spectator sport,” Iuliano said. “The health of our civic institutions requires engaged citizens ready and able to exercise their voice thoughtfully and responsibly. When this College, and institutions like it, graduate broadly educated students with the skills and determination to get involved, we have every reason to believe that our country’s fragile democratic experiment may long endure.”

Through College Presidents for Civic Preparedness, convened by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, Iuliano remains dedicated to preparing the next generation of well-informed, productively engaged, and committed citizens; defending free expression, civil discourse, and critical inquiry; and increasing thoughtful engagement and better understanding by students for the effective functioning of our democracy. This consortium has grown significantly since its inception with 15 members in August 2023, demonstrating momentum for this movement.

Embracing free speech and diversity through meaningful discourse continues to be a strength of American democracy and campus life, affirming the critical role higher education plays for its students. Through the Gettysburg Approach, students build the knowledge and enduring skills to be global citizens, welcoming different viewpoints with curiosity and inquiry, a hallmark of Gettysburg’s liberal arts and sciences education.

“Higher education has a responsibility to provide students with critical civic skills and knowledge to participate effectively in our constitutional democracy,” said Institute for Citizens & Scholars President Rajiv Vinnakota. “College campuses are among the most diverse spaces in our country, and college is an important time for students to develop the habits, practices, and norms to live in a multicultural and interconnected democracy. Doing so can create a ripple effect, making young people more optimistic and increasingly committed about their future and our nation.”

Learn how institutions of higher education, including Gettysburg College, are strengthening democracy through College Presidents for Civic Preparedness.

By Megan Miller
Posted: 04/29/24

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