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GCU Hosts Open Forum to Discuss Who Should Be Honored with Monuments

If you could add one American—living or dead—to Mount Rushmore, who would you select and why?

If you could add one American—living or dead—to Mount Rushmore, who would you select and why? GCU’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta—the National History Honor Society—and the Clionaes History Club invite the public to a free open forum—Mount Rushmore: A New Face—to answer this theoretical question on Tuesday, February 26, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Little Theatre on GCU’s Lakewood campus.

This event is intended to answer a “what-if” scenario for the modern day.

Completed in 1941, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a large sculpture carved into Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. Mount Rushmore features the faces of four U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

Imagine that Congress authorized adding one more face to Mount Rushmore, with the stipulation that this person must be an American—living or dead. Who would you nominate and why? Should this person a president? A political or military leader? What about Americans with distinguished records in the world of culture and science, sports and entertainment, business and technology, or religion and education? Should social activists, dissidents, and reformers be considered? In order to diversify the mountaintop, should this “new face” be reserved for a woman and/or a racial/ethnic minority? What is greatness? What defines a hero? Who should we honor with monuments and why?

“Biographical monuments, including Mount Rushmore, typically celebrate great leaders who have made exceptional contributions to American life,” says Scott H. Bennett, Ph.D., GCU professor of history and faculty moderator of Phi Alpha Theta. “But how do—and how should we—define “greatness” and “contributions”? Our history majors organized this fun and engaging forum to examine these very questions.”

Attend this open forum to discuss and debate this issue and to nominate the next Mount Rushmore face. Admission is free, but reservations are required by contacting GCU’s Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732.987.2263 or specialevents@georgian.edu.

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