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... documenting the history of the University of Delaware

Delawareans at the Epicenter: Political Engagement at the University of Delaware

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While the University of Delaware received much media attention for its political engagement in the past few years, Delawareans always were involved in the local, regional and national political scene. The very first class of Francis Alison’s free school in New London, Pennsylvania, the predecessor of the university, included three signers of the Declaration of Independence: George Read, James Smith and Thomas McKean. Student voices continued to be raised on political matters throughout the following years and up into the present. National politics has strong connections to the university, with campus visits by some of the highest political figures in the country, while Delaware’s student body produced a number of senators, representatives, governors, and most notably, a vice president. The national media may have recognized the University of Delaware as “the epicenter of politics” only recently, but Delawareans always have placed themselves in the midst of American political life.