Some students and faculty at UVA are freaking out about the inclusion of Thomas Jefferson in university communications. You know, the same Thomas Jefferson who founded UVA. To her credit, the school president declined to follow the mob’s advice.

The Washington Examiner reported:

University of Virginia president refuses to scrub Thomas Jefferson from speech

On the campus of the University of Virginia, the words of Thomas Jefferson trump the protests of an offended faculty and student body. At least for now.

U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan acknowledged the protest against her quotation of Jefferson in a statement released Monday. She rejected the idea, however, that quotation is tantamount to endorsement of Jefferson’s shortcomings.

Last week, nearly 500 students and faculty members signed a letter protesting Sullivan’s use of Jefferson’s words in a campus-wide email. The offended undersigned argued that quoting the author of the Declaration of Independence undermines equality.

From the corner office of Virginia’s public ivory tower, Sullivan respectfully slapped down that idea.

“In my message last week, I agreed with Mr. Jefferson’s words expressing the idea that U.Va. students would help to lead our republic,” Sullivan said in a statement posted on the university’s website. “He believed that 200 years ago, and I believe it today.”

The first female president of the university that Jefferson founded, Sullivan did something her faculty could not. She made a distinction between intrinsic principle and historical personality. Those perfect ideals transcend even the flawed third president.


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