The holiday season is a time for reflection and appreciation, and I can think of no better time to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the friends, allies, and supporters who have become a part of FIRE’s family. Some of you have been with us since FIRE was founded in 1999, while others have only just begun a relationship with FIRE, but each and every one of you is vitally important to the success of our mission. Whether you are a donor, a CFN member, or simply someone who cares enough about liberty to follow our work, your support has enabled FIRE to grow and expand from a fledgling organization to a powerful force for change on college and university campuses. Over the years, we have consistently butted heads with a powerful industry and, more often than not, we have come away victorious.
In the few months that I’ve been at FIRE, I’ve quickly come to realize how vitally important FIRE’s work is—not only to the lives of individual members of the campus community, but to the continued prosperity of American democracy. Today’s campuses are far too often riddled with censorship and unconstitutional policies and practices. In the past year, FIRE has handled numerous cases at schools across the country—from Central Washington University, to Temple College in Texas, to Binghamton University in New York. Higher learning suffers deeply under the shadow of such repression; for young minds to flourish, they must be educated in a free and open marketplace of ideas.
This year, as you consider giving back to your alma mater, resolve to become a vigilant steward of your donation. Help us to hold administrators accountable. Take a moment to visit our Spotlight database and to ask yourself if the funds you donate to your alma mater will be used to further educational opportunities, as you expect. Will they be used to build better facilities for students and to offer new programs of study? Or will they be used to enforce free speech zones and to fund "mandatory" re-education programs? If you discover that your alma mater uses your funds to restrict the rights of its community, consider donating to FIRE instead. We will use your donation to further our fight for liberty on campus, so that your children, and your children’s children, will enjoy the full benefits of a college education received in liberty.
In 2009, FIRE will celebrate our 10th anniversary, and we are looking forward to a year during which we can share in a celebration of FIRE’s accomplishments with everyone who has helped to make those accomplishments possible. Through the years, supporters like you have given us the greatest gift of all: the means to protect the future of liberty in America.