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Donald Trump, Jerry Falwell Jr.
Members of the Class of 2017 stand as they wait for the arrival of President Donald Trump who will give the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Saturday, May 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Some Liberty University grads are returning their diplomas to protest Trump



Some graduates from Liberty University are prepared to return their diplomas in an effort to send a message to the school's president, Jerry Falwell, Jr.

The message? Stop defending and supporting President Donald Trump's agenda.

In a letter first reported by NPR, the group of alumni criticized Falwell for supporting Trump even after the president blamed "many sides" for last weekend's violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Liberty University is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, which approximately an hour and a half from where the white nationalist rally took place.

The day after Trump delivered his divisive response to the violence, Falwell tweeted, "Finally a leader in the WH."

The letter obtained by NPR reads in part:

"Instead of condemning racist and white nationalist ideologies, Mr. Trump provided equivocal and contradictory comments. The Chancellor then characterized Mr. Trump's remarks, which included the claim that some of the persons marching as white nationalists and white supremacists at the rally were 'very fine people,' as 'bold' and 'truthful.' This is incompatible with Liberty University's stated values, and incompatible with a Christian witness."

One 2006 graduate said that Falwell's defense of Trump's comments make him and the university he represents "complicit."

The letter goes on to ask graduates who still have their diplomas to return them to Falwell. Those who can't find their diplomas were asked to send individual letters to the university president. It remains unclear just how many students have taken action.

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