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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2008
CONTACT: Suzanne Bibby (202) 544-0353
Conservative Icon, Phyllis Schlafly, Recognized with
Honorary Degree from Washington University
Washington, D.C. — Phyllis Schlafly, president and founder of the national pro-family organization Eagle Forum, will receive an honorary degree today from her alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. Schlafly is best known as America's most articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement by leading the crusade against the Equal Rights Amendment from 1972 to 1982. She is the author of 20 books, including her 1964 best-selling publication, A Choice Not an Echo, and she has been widely credited for igniting the conservative movement that eventually led to Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in 1980. Phyllis, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University, having received her B.A. in Political Science in 1944 and her J.D. in 1978, will receive a Doctorate of Humane Letters.
Despite her obvious and impressive success, Washington University's decision to honor Phyllis has received the expected feminist backlash, and students have vowed to protest at the May 16th commencement. The school's Board of Trustees, unmoved by the threats to disrupt the ceremony, defended its unanimous decision last week: "Alumna Phyllis Schlafly's articulation of her perspectives has been a significant part of American life,ůserving as a lightning rod for vigorous debate on difficult issues where differences of opinion are profound and passionate."
"We congratulate our President and Founder, Phyllis, on receiving this great honor today," said Eagle Forum Executive Director Jessica Echard. "She has been a true pioneer of the conservative and pro-family movements over the past 40 years, and we thank Washington University for recognizing her extraordinary achievements and her commitment to preserving America as a land of individual liberty and respect for the traditional family."
"Phyllis is certainly no stranger to American college campuses," Echard said. "She regularly travels the country and speaks to students about diverse topics, but we know that this visit to her alma mater today will be extra special."
"As a writer for the New York Times Magazine once said, 'Phyllis Schlafly has become one of the most relentless and accomplished platform debaters of any gender to be found on any side of any issue,' " concluded Echard. "Eagle Forum applauds Washington University for upholding the ideal that real diversity includes everyone, even conservatives!"