Keep the name of James Madison College

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The Keep James Madison Coalition                                                                    Contact:

A petition to the leadership, faculty, and staff of James Madison College as well as Michigan State University.

Many students, alumni, faculty, and staff of James Madison College seek the preservation of the college. Over five decades and 8,000 alumni later, the college has offered world-class education in public affairs and public policy. Erasing the college's namesake of James Madison would be erroneous as a liberal arts and political college in America.

Discourse over the death of George Floyd, with resulting protests and riots, has rightly sparked attention to America’s history and identity. America’s history of slavery, Native American attacks, segregation,  and other events cannot be ignored for the pain and injustice they caused. However, our nation has sought to correct its past misdeeds to become a more perfect union.

Leaders of each generation’s fight for civil rights have pointed back to the promises of America. James Madison, called the “Father of the Constitution,” was a slave owner who was a principal writer of an instrument which would help end slavery. While he did speak out against slavery, most of his slaves weren’t freed until after his death by his wife Dolly Madison.

The primary writer of the Constitution and fourth President of the United States should be remembered for the good and just things he said, fought for, and achieved. His work is a staple of constitutional and political theory curriculum, and within the college his Federalist Papers are required reading and are pivotal to understanding the Constitution and America’s founding. 

Additionally, so much quality education, service, and change has occurred under the college's current name. James Madison had flaws, as did every human being who has worked to build our great nation. We cannot allow Madison’s flaws to erase the good he did for our country.  

We petition that the name should stay. Keep James Madison College.

Join the Keep James Madison Coalition and sign the petition today. Please help spread the word and share with friends and family. 

The coalition is made up of members from several student groups, MSU students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public. For more information on this effort, contact 

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