Jul 20, 2021

College of the Ozarks announces Edward Graham as featured speaker for The National Symposium on Patriotic Education

College of the Ozarks announces Edward Graham as featured speaker for The National Symposium on Patriotic Education
Edward Graham

Registration open for free, live digital event to take place Sept. 16-17

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — Edward Graham, assistant to the vice president of Programs and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse, is the third featured speaker to be announced as part of The National Symposium on Patriotic Education, to be held via livestream Sept. 16-17, 2021.

The purpose of the Symposium, which is hosted by The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education at College of the Ozarks, is to revive historic American values and virtue on the eve of the 250th anniversary of America’s founding. Graham joins other speakers, including Dr. Ben Carson, former United States Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former White House press secretary. Additional nationally known speakers will be announced throughout the summer.

Graham is the youngest son of Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse. Graham graduated from the United States Military Academy and went on to serve 16 years in the U.S. Army. After multiple combat deployments within the Special Operations Community and working in various leadership and command positions, he felt called to return home and serve in the ministry starting in the winter of 2018.

During the Symposium, participants can expect to hear from nationally known speakers, experience patriotic education programs, connect with thought-leaders and practitioners, and access innovative patriotic education content and resources.

To learn more about this free event, and to register, visit: https://cofo.edu/nspe

The Symposium will feature sessions centered around the following four pillars of patriotic education, as defined by The William S. Knight Center:

  • Liberty’s Lessons: Expand knowledge of American heritage, especially individual and religious freedom
  • Liberty’s Cost: Honor the sacrifices of Veterans and their families
  • Liberty’s Foundation: Strengthen free enterprise through hard work and entrepreneurship
  • Liberty’s Legacy: Promote public, civic, and military service

“There are many who talk about what is wrong with America,” said College President Jerry C. Davis. “At C of O, we believe there is much that is right with our country. We intend to take a leadership role in patriotic education by helping students of all ages learn about liberty, sacrifice, free enterprise, and service. Respect for these critical building blocks of our nation has eroded, and we intend to help restore that respect.”

Dr. Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, sees this as a critical time for such an event.

“We are honored to hear from a Veteran like Edward Graham,” Linson said. “His example of Christian and military service is inspirational, and we hope encourages our students to continue their active pursuit of serving their communities.”

“Offering this as a complimentary livestream event increases our outreach and allows us to draw many concerned citizens into the conversation about the importance of patriotic education,” Linson said. “We trust that accessing the content of this meaningful online event will prove convenient and educational for our guests.”

Learning Liberty’s Cost

College of the Ozarks administrators hope to affect change in our nation, providing a response to statistics noted in current culture.

Americans are increasingly willing to undermine historic American symbols like the national anthem. According to the Patriotism Poll, a third of Americans believe that it is alright to burn the American flag. Fifty percent of young Americans do not consider themselves American patriots. Two thirds of young Americans believe that America is headed in the wrong direction. Eighty three percent of Americans cannot identify the rights protected by the first amendment. Only 44 percent of Gen Z thinks that the American flag most accurately represents freedom.

Dr. Andrew Bolger serves as the director of The Keeter Center for Character Education and The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education.

“Learning about liberty is the essence of patriotic education,” Bolger said. “Learning about liberty is not limited to a set of historical dates or pieces of information. It requires that Americans cultivate a common, shared identity inspired by the ideals and heritage that formed our nation.”

More about Edward Graham

Edward Graham is the assistant to the vice president of Programs and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse who oversees all international relief projects for the organization.

Franklin Graham, father to Edward, serves as president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse. He has met privately with five U.S. Presidents as well as world leaders from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. As a speaker and author, Franklin regularly addresses current moral and social issues, calling Christians to stand for Biblical values and challenging them to make a difference in the world for the sake of the Gospel.

Evangelist Billy Graham, grandfather to Edward, had preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history – nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings, including Mission World and Global Mission. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts.

Beginning with the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade, which vaulted Billy Graham into the public eye, he led hundreds of thousands of individuals to make personal decisions to live for Christ, the main thrust of his decades-long ministry.

Edward Graham has one daughter and three sons and has been married for 17 years to his wife, Kristy, who hails from a proud Army family. He and Kristy are raising their four children in the mountains of North Carolina, serving in the name of Jesus Christ.

More about Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.