Phase I: Mission Drift Exposed and Denied
November 10, 2021 - Petition
After just one week of signature collection, 476 parents, alumni, and friends of Grove City College (GCC) post a public petition sounding the alarm about CRT and mission drift at the College.
November 18, 2021 - College Statement
President McNulty responds to the petition, denying the problem, attacking the parents, and covering up with inapt appeals to academic freedom.
November 29, 2021 - Media (External)
American Reformer runs lengthy piece detailing CRT intrusion at GCC and revealing new evidence of the problem.
December 5, 2021 - Petition
Petitioners release a new statement, responding to President McNulty and presenting new evidence for their claims.
December 7, 2021 - Media (Faculty)
Dr. Carl Trueman, a professor at GCC, argues that the College cannot be woke because he teaches there and calls the petitioners’ concerns “misguided rumors.”
December 13, 2021 - Media (Staff)
Lee Wishing, Vice President for Student Recruitment at the College, denies the existence of a CRT issue at Grove City.
December 16, 2021 - Media (External)
Megan Basham of The Daily Wire covers the Grove City controversy and introduces new evidence of the problem.
December 22, 2021 - Media (External)
Megan Basham appears on the Anchored podcast to discuss the CRT problem at GCC, along with Lee Wishing and Carl Trueman, each of whom denies that there is a CRT problem at the College.
January 2, 2022 - Media (Students)
GCC student Isaac Willour defends the College by arguing that free speech ideals trump petitioners’ concerns regarding CRT, despite the fact that the College is a private institution that has publicly declared its commitment to conservative ideals.
January 7, 2022 - Media (External)
Joshua Abbotoy elaborates on the controversy regarding CRT at GCC on the Eric Metaxas Show.
January 17, 2022 - Media (Faculty)
Dr. Paul Kengor, a professor at GCC, downplays the CRT issue on the Eric Metaxas Show.
February 8, 2022 - Faculty Letter
Anonymous faculty release an open letter through Joshua Abbotoy to the Grove City College Board of Trustees regarding CRT and broader management issues within the College.
February 14, 2022 - Media (External)
Julia Duin reports on the Grove City controversy in the pages of Newsweek.
February 14, 2022 - Board Statement
The Grove City Board of Trustees issues a statement announcing the formation of a special committee to investigate CRT within the College.
March 1, 2022 - Media (Faculty)
Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a GCC professor, gives an interview for Inside Higher Ed in which he insinuates that Ed Breen—Grove City’s Board chair—is a hypocrite for backing diversity efforts at his employer, but not at the College.
March 3, 2022 - Counter-Petition
Alumna Natalie Kahler (’94) launches a counter-petition asking the Board to make a “strong commitment to academic freedom and not ban whole theories or perspectives,” even though the College does not guarantee its faculty limitless academic freedom and that petitioners never asked for such a ban.
March 30, 2022 - College Event
Grove City College hosts lawyer Matt Martens for a full day of events advocating for soft-on-crime policies after he smeared the petitioners on social media and mocked their anti-CRT campaign.
Phase II: Report Fallout Reveals Extensive Rot
April 13, 2022 - Board Statement
The Grove City College Board of Trustees releases its report, finding that CRT had made inroads at the College and directing a number of remedial actions.
April 21, 2022 - Media (External)
Dr. John Fea, a professor at Messiah College and friend of Warren Throckmorton, mocks the Grove City Board report’s reassertion of the College’s mission and its condemnation of CRT in the online journal Current.
April 21, 2022 - College Event
Grove City College Democrats (official student organization advised by Psychology Professor Warren Throckmorton) host an event advocating for LGBT+ affirmation and preferred pronoun usage.
April 25, 2022 - Social Media (Faculty)
Part-time guest lecturer Cedric Lewis, J.D., gets caught in a lie about the content of the woke EDUC 290 course that he co-taught with education professor Dr. Gina Blackburn.
April 27, 2022 - Social Media (Faculty)
Cedric Lewis pens a lengthy post on “Overheard at GCC,” an unofficial Grove City College Facebook Group, in which he accuses the Board committee of “disturbing” “bias” and engaging in interviews that “wouldn’t pass the legal smell test,” despite the fact that the Board’s committee included two federal appellate judges.
April 28, 2022 - Social Media (External)
Bloggers at Servants and Heralds reveal that Cedric Lewis was disbarred in Florida for failing to produce client trust account bank statements while under investigation for misuse of client funds.
April 29, 2022 - Petition
Petitioners thank the Board for its report and expressed their intent to await further administrative action.
April 30, 2022 - Media (External)
Joshua Abbotoy rejoins the Eric Metaxas Show to praise the Board’s report and underscore the petitioners’ plan to withhold judgment while the administration responds to the report.
April 30, 2022 - Social Media (Faculty)
Warren Throckmorton critiques the Board’s report and equates teaching on Austrian economics with CRT activism.
May 12, 2022 - Media (Faculty)
Warren Throckmorton and Cedric Lewis are quoted in a story on The Young Turks blog that smeared both board chair Ed Breen and trustee Anne McClelland.
May 13, 2022 - College Event
English professor and assistant dean Dr. Collin Messer—one of the architects of the woke chapel series in the fall of 2020—is honored as the keynote speaker for the 2022 Baccalaureate Service as send-off on his way to work as Provost of Covenant College.
May 19, 2022 - Counter-Petition
Natalie Kahler takes to Twitter to advertise yet another petition, this time apologizing to “Jemar Tisby and others maligned in a Board committee report.”
May 20, 2022 - Media (Faculty)
Cedric Lewis joins the Kitchen Table Cult podcast (hosted by Eve Ettinger, a tarot-reader who co-authored a BLM petition attacking Grove City College in the summer of 2020 and who goes by “they/them” pronouns) to repeat his complaints about the College and the Board’s CRT investigation.
Phase III: Decline Reigns as the New Normal
July 30, 2022 - Media (External)
Detroit Free Press reporter David Jesse digs into how the admissions and enrollment trajectories of Hillsdale College and Grove City College are diverging. President McNulty is quoted as lamenting polarization and students who desire to influence culture, labeling them as “culture warriors.”
August 31, 2022 - Media (External)
President McNulty’s failure to follow the Board report, especially on personnel matters, is covered by Joshua Abbotoy in The Federalist. Abbotoy notes that, despite his behavior and the revelations about his disbarring, Cedric Lewis returned this fall and was promoted from guest lecturer to assistant professor. It is later announced that Lewis will transition from part-time to full-time teaching role in spring 2023.
September 7, 2022 - Petition
Petitioners release an updated statement titled Has Anything Really Changed? They receive no response from President McNulty or other College administrators.
September 13, 2022 - College Rankings
The 2022 U.S. News & World Report college rankings recategorize Grove City College from a national Liberal Arts College to a Regional College, ranked between Maine Maritime Academy and Pennsylvania College of Technology in the North region—a significant (and for the College, unprecedented) downgrade.
September 22, 2022 - College Event
The College announces the voluntary departure of Justin Jose, Director of the Office of Multicultural Education and Initiatives, who had been integrally involved in promoting CRT at Grove City, and throws an honorific reception for him.
September 26, 2022 - College Statement
Rather than celebrating Grove City’s conservative identity, the College’s admissions department changes its website to bemoan polarization and suggest the College has no “ideological barriers.”
September 27, 2022 - College Event
The college hosts Monique Duson in an attempt to impress conservatives and suggest that there is no CRT problem at GCC. Duson appears on stage flanked by Paul Kengor and Carl Trueman, two of the faculty who denied or minimized the college’s CRT problem. At this event, Dr. Kengor selectively excerpted the Board’s report to suggest that concerns about CRT on campus were baseless, despite the Board specifically finding the opposite.
October 18, 2022 - College Event
Jonah Goldberg delivers inaugural address in the new “Conservative Mind” lecture series run by Grove City’s Institute for Faith and Freedom, speaking on “Conservatism in the Age of Trump.”
October 19, 2022 - Social Media (External)
Alumni and other social media accounts note that Grove City has continued the test-optional policy that it adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the pandemic is over and other institutions have reinstated their testing requirements.
February 24, 2023 - College Media
After soliciting and receiving quotes from Travis Barham and Josh Abbotoy in mid-January to prepare a purportedly fair report on the Save Grove City petition, the Collegian ultimately runs a story that falsely asserts that the Board’s Report has been fully implemented. The story quotes only senior GCC administrators, credits administrators for actions the Board took on its own and says nothing regarding the Save Grove City petition or the public reporting on the controversy (e.g., Abbotoy’s article in The Federalist).
March 30–April 1, 2023 - College Event
Grove City’s English department announces a forthcoming conference on decentering Western Civilization from the Christian experience. Though the College publicly says it defends Western Civilization (a commitment the Board reaffirmed in its report), this conference plans on asserting that “Christianity is not inherently more compatible with Western culture than it is with any of the cultures of the East or the Global South.”