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July 2013

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Glenn Beck Contributes to George Wythe University

By Aspen Eggimann (Junior at GWU)

After months of preparation, the George Wythe University Philanthropic Gala arrived. Running up the steps of the Utah State Capitol I tried to keep my breath. I wish I could say that I was out of shape, but the truth is I was nervous beyond all reason. It was the kind of lightheaded feeling you get before going out on stage, or the dry mouth and knotted stomach just before an oral exam by a panel of GW mentors. It was the kind of feeling you only get when pushing yourself to new limits, when you are required to be at your best, when the stakes are high and the rewards exciting. I was experiencing the feeling that lets you know you’re really living. As Student Ambassadors we had been preparing for months for this moment and it was finally here.

Instead of George Wythe faculty and administrators, Dr. Brooks and Dr. Groft decided to put seven students at the Gala table with Glenn Beck. All in their twenties and with little world experience, they were simply put there to be themselves. They were to be examples of the students that attend George Wythe. No pressure.

While his handlers ushered people away so he could eat, we finally shook hands with Glenn.  I felt immediately at ease by his genuine nature. He then sat down, looked around at us and said frankly, “Tell me. Why should someone invest in George Wythe University?”

Not exactly a softball question, but we gave him a hardball answer: “If you had looked at the American Founders when they were young, knowing what they would do in their lifetimes, wouldn’t you invest in them to ensure that they succeeded?” The conversation that followed was rich and memorable as we delved into questions surrounding the future of liberty and how it might be lost or preserved.

As you probably have heard, later that evening, in the presence of then Utah Lt. Governor Herbert and over 400 other dignitaries, and after an introduction by Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck announced that he would donate $25,000 to George Wythe University through 14-year-old Rachelle Harkey’s Into the Next Chapter project. The project is a fundraiser in which sponsors pledge a penny or more for each page read by kids.  Since then, it has earned over $28,000 by reading 1.7 million pages.

During his speech, Glenn spoke of the kind of education needed if we are to have principled leaders in times of moral decay and crisis. He said we need the kind of education that George Wythe University offers; and then he spoke of aspects of education that convinced me he really gets it. I was impressed. 

Guess what folks, the crisis is here. Glenn Beck is saying it, Oliver DeMille has been saying it, History warned us about it, and the national concern over current events is shouting it at us. Whether or not we wait and let other "experts" shape the outcomes, or we prepare ourselves to have a voice in the process is up to us.

Americans have misunderstood the phrase “work within your area of influence” as meaning to simply limit your influence to your family, do a couple of service projects in the community, be involved by going once a year to a community meeting, and pat yourself on the back for recycling cans. Many hope that simply voting is enough. And while it is important, we simply must do more. We cannot excuse doing good things for doing the right things.

History tells the story of two groups of people, those who make a plan and those who don’t. Too often, those who believe in and want freedom don’t plan for its execution. The period of the American Founders stands out like a beacon for this simple reason. Good men came together and made a plan for freedom to survive, and gave their lives executing it. They rose above their petty differences and instead saw the great sameness that ran through them all: their deep and unquestionable desire and passion for freedom.

Glenn Beck is donating $25,000 to George Wythe University because he believes that there is a need for people like the Founders in today's world. Into the Next Chapter has organized a very successful effort to receive that money because they believe that anybody can make a difference. Now is the time and place where we can help. As of August 11, the youth Glenn challenged to read 2.5 million pages have organized readers and sponsors, and have read 1.79 million pages. That's impressive!  

Since their read-a-thon ends on August 21st, I would like to invite you to become a reader and a sponsor. Help them meet Glenn Beck's challenge. By registering as a reader and/ or a sponsor with Into the Next Chapter we can all help this project succeed, and help to Build Statesmen.  


Join the Read-a-thon as a reader and/or a sponsor today!  Here is one of the experiences of those who already have:

“When I introduced [the Read-a-thon] to my kids--and some cousins who stayed with us for a few weeks--they were extremely excited about it and wanted me to help them sign up right away.  I pledged a penny per page, and my daughter Kylee said, 'Dad, come on, you can give more than that.'  Result?  More reading than movie watching is happening at my home this summer because of the excitement this project has generated.  My 11-year-old son who never reads has read 722 pages!!!”  -- Dr. Andrew Groft