We Are What They Say We Are | A Letter to My Fellow Paine College Alumni


This letter will offend some people — Good.

Over the last few months, I have been following the media coverage of the scandals involving Paine College. I always get a kick out of reading the comments from fellow Augustans detailing what they think about Paine College.


One of my favorite phrases that they love to throw around is “diploma mill.” If you don’t know what a diploma mill is, here is my abbreviated definition: It is an institution that commences students without them having a basic understanding of how to create original thought.

In one of my favorite classes in undergrad at Paine College, Dr. Don Cleary taught us about the levels of learning (i.e., Blooms Taxonomy). True mastery of any subject can only be achieved when you are not only able to learn what you are taught, obey commands and follow blindly, but when you can revolutionize processes. The highest level of learning is when you are no longer a lapdog bound to the commands of a master, but are able to burn down the house your master has created in your mind and question their ability to lead and your ability to be led.

Too long have we been led to the water and blindly drank without question. We have been “seasoned” like slaves. Stop being scared. Stop talking in the background. Make your statement. Stand your ground.

When qualified staff were let go (fired) or resigned, we remained silent. They know best. When we looked around and saw that student life was dwindling, we covered our eyes and prayed it would go away. When we lose our accreditation, when they put bars on our doors, what will we say then? Will we still sing the praises of a great administration and place the blame on that old, evil SACs or will we simply say nothing? I would vote for you to do the latter.

Sometimes, I even I believe that the administration of Paine College subscribes to the same notions that claim we aren’t smart enough to decipher truths for ourselves. I can’t really blame them. If I pee on your leg, tell you it’s raining and then you pull out an umbrella, I would think the same thing.

It’s time to stop being told what to think. We must now think for ourselves. Let’s dig deeper. Let’s create a movement. This is the call to action.

Here is the time to prove them wrong. We have two choices: We can act like we don’t deserve the degrees this institution has given us and be mindless drones or we can win. We can be the ones that demand change. This is a situation we can overcome.

You may ignore my rhetoric, but when you do, please remember not to ignore your duty. Halt from being distracted by botched football programs and structural changes built on foundations of lies. Image

We are what they say we are. We aren’t strong. We haven’t learned the most elementary lesson of the academic mind to question everything.

I’ll be damned. Hopefully, Paine will not.

So, what do you have to say?

In the Spirit of the Mighty Lion,

Brian J. Murray, MMC
Class of 2010

4 thoughts on “We Are What They Say We Are | A Letter to My Fellow Paine College Alumni

  1. Salanda K.

    Exactly what I’ve been saying these past few years!! Not understanding why everyone is walking around blind to the bs!

  2. Don Cleary

    I am glad to have taught someone something. May it always be used for good. I will not weigh in on this issue one way or the other, but I will say that Dr. Bradley was always fair, respectful, and good to me.

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