Gettysburg is a college deeply rooted in the American experience. It was born of democratic values, strong optimism, and the firm conviction that only a liberal arts education fully awakens and prepares people to live purposeful lives as citizen leaders. Our founders were champions of freedom and liberty, progressive thinkers, and staunch believers in the power of the liberal arts to prepare leaders to meet the challenges of our young nation.
Those beliefs were tested on the fields that surround our campus where a century and a half ago men gave their lives in a battle that defined our nation’s future and left an indelible imprint on its collective memory. We are but a short walk from where President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, the most eloquent expression of freedom and liberty ever spoken.
The fields of Gettysburg also served as the training ground for a young West Point cadet who walked the battlefield and studied the tactical maneuvers of the generals of the Union and Confederate forces. Dwight D. Eisenhower would emerge as the general many claim most responsible for the victory of the Allied Forces in Europe in World War II in a campaign that would triumph over new threats to liberty and freedom—not just for our nation—but for the world. His vision went beyond national service to embrace a broader definition of engagement in public life. We celebrate that vision in our Eisenhower Institute housed in an elegant pillared building that served as home to Captain Eisenhower and his young family when he returned to Gettysburg in 1918 to command Camp Colt. [excerpt]
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President's Office, "Strategic Directions for Gettysburg College, June 2007" (2007). Reports from the President’s Office. 6.