Military history professor makes the case for higher education

In an open letter to members of the state Assembly, UW-Madison military history professor Lt. Col. John Hall speaks movingly about how his hardworking parents made sure he and his siblings could go to college. Hall cut short his successful Army career to return to Wisconsin and join the history faculty, but was disappointed to find not everyone in the state shared the military’s appreciation for higher education.

“Whatever its sources (and there are many), this lack of faith is divisive and destructive. No less than my brothers and sisters in arms, my colleagues at the University of Wisconsin are ‘the best and the brightest’ who really could have been whatever they wanted to be and chose a life of public service in education.”

“As member of the faculty,” Hall concludes, “I promise to you that I will continue to provide our undergraduates the education they need and deserve. And while my research and scholarship address the security needs of the nation more than the problems confronting Wisconsin, I will continue to serve my state through public service and outreach to the limit of my abilities. But I know what they are, and ultimately the Wisconsin State Assembly will decide whether it wants to retain the best public university system in the nation.” Read the full letter.