Dan Rather visits Central, speaks about importance of education

Sara Varela


During an intimate fireside chat held on Central Campus, renowned American journalist and former news anchor for CBS News for 24 years Dan Rather spoke to a group of over 120 students, faculty, staff.

The fireside chat, moderated by BC President J. David Armstrong, Jr. and Political Science student Brandon Saridjo, was Rather’s first stop before heading to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for the evening presentation of the BC Speaker Series.

The informal conversation focused mostly on the issues of education and race divide that the country currently faces.

Rather, who has covered most of the critical events of our time from Watergate, to 9/11, to the fall of the Berlin wall, just to name a few, has extensive knowledge of America’s history, especially in social issues.

Regarding education, especially public education, Rather has a strong stand.

“From the very founding of our country there has been an understanding through the centuries that nothing is more important to the development of our constitutional republic than education, said Rather.

“The top three priorities of our country must be number one: education, number two: education, and number three: education.”

Rather explains that education is the only way to form the leaders of tomorrow. Additionally, he makes it clear that education is “the only way we can remain free and independent.”

To this point, Rather made emphasis on public education.

“Public schools have formed the spine of education in the country,” he said. “Without the public-school system, we would definitely have a very different country.”

Rather admits he is worried that the public education system may be in jeopardy with the increase in popularity of other types of education such as charter schools and homeschooling.

While making it clear that he holds nothing against the diversity of options, he hopes that public education continues to be a priority for the U.S.

“We have to understand that the public-school system has to be the foundation of education in the country,” he said.

Rather was the last guest speaker of the 2018 BC Speaker Series, which also included Fox News’ Bret Baier, New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, and renowned athlete Laila Ali.