Already this semester, campus has hosted nationally recognized scholars, award-winning journalists, renowned artists, and CEOs. We’re proud that Richmond is the type of place where students can learn from and participate in the important conversations happening around some of today’s most critical topics. 

Those discussions continued this week when President Crutcher hosted Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates as part of the 2017–18 Sharp Viewpoint Speakers Series. Speaking with each separately, Crutcher asked about everything from education to what to do with Civil War monuments.

But before diving into policies, Crutcher asked them about their approach to politics.

“I love to listen,” Republican candidate Ed Gillespie said. “I like to get ideas from everywhere. Some of my policies are a little inconsistent with the party line, but I’m not running for governor because I want to be something — I want to do something.”

The questions came from Richmond Scholars, students who have received the University’s most prestigious merit awards.

“Politics has become so partisan and polarized,” Democratic candidate Ralph Northam said. “When that happens, nothing gets done. This business is all about making relationships, and agreeing to disagree.”

The Spider community is an engaged one, eager to learn from diverse perspectives — and the packed house at Wednesday’s event showed just that.

“It is the responsibility of institutions of higher education, such as the University of Richmond, to foster discussions that educate and enlighten,” Crutcher said. “And it’s up to us, as citizens, to engage in debate, open ourselves to perspectives that differ from our own, and actively participate in our democracy.”

Thank you, Dr. Crutcher, for leading these important conversations!

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