Rushad’s Farewell

April 27, 2017

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It is with a good deal of sadness that the Coolidge Foundation bids farewell to Rushad Thomas. Rushad has served capably as Program and Editorial Associate for the past three years.

From leading our annual reading of the Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, to organizing dozens of Coolidge debate tournaments and camps, to inspiring young people on tours through historic Plymouth Notch, to editing our “News from the Notch” and “Coolidge Quarterly,” Rushad has contributed to the growth and success of the Coolidge Foundation. As is evident in his farewell essay below, Rushad has proven a strong ambassador for Coolidge. He even takes the lead on our Coolidge Scholars video.

While we don’t like seeing Rushad go, the Foundation is excited about his new opportunity to work for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in Washington, DC. And we are certain this is not a “goodbye,” but rather a “we’ll see you soon,” because we know Rushad will be back to the Notch time and time again in the years to come.

Thank you, Rushad, for your service. 


 

CCPF Crew“There is only one form of political strategy in which I have any confidence, and that is to try to do the right thing and sometimes be able to succeed.”

These words, written by President Coolidge in his Autobiography, encapsulate the genius of our nation’s thirtieth president. I first read those words as I worked on the first task I was given as an employee at the Coolidge Foundation: to create an audio-recording of the entire Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge. As a dyed-in-the-wool political junkie and a firm believer in America’s political institutions, those words stuck with me.

I have always had a very idealistic view of this country’s governing traditions. In my three years of service at the Foundation, I have had the opportunity to reflect upon the Coolidge Way in a manner few admirers of President Coolidge will ever have. I come away from this place deeply impacted by the spirit of principled public service he exhibited, from the common council of Northampton to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Calvin Coolidge is one of our country’s most undervalued national treasures. He incarnates the American dream. One need only come to Plymouth Notch to see the clapboard wooden house where he was born, the unassuming homestead where he grew up, and the simple headstone that marks his burial place to catch the spirit. If traveling to Vermont is out of the question, one can sit down with a copy of his Autobiography, or pick up Amity Shlaes’s Coolidge biography, or go on the Foundation’s website to read one of his moving speeches to understand what a tremendous leader he was.

I would like to recommend three of those speeches in particular: “Have Faith in Massachusetts,” the most brief summation of his political philosophy, given upon his assumption of the Massachusetts Senate Presidency in January 1914; “On the Nature of Politics,” which he gave in 1915 at the Algonquian Club of Boston; and his “Address Before the American Legion Convention at Omaha, Nebraska,” given on October 6, 1925. Those three speeches capture the essence of Silent Cal.

His voice desperately needs to be heard in our cacophonous age. The Coolidge Foundation works every day to amplify his voice, and it has been my distinct pleasure to assist in that work. I am moving on, but I will continue to do everything in my power to promote President Coolidge’s legacy. Silent Cal will never be silenced, as long as those of us who recognize his importance continue to spread the good word and support the work of those who do.

Rushad Thomas
Program and Editorial Associate

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