The president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, sent this letter to students faculty and staff members following the death of President Nelson Mandela:
"The world mourns the loss of one of the most courageous, influential and iconic leaders of the 20th century. Madiba, as he was affectionately known by his people, was courageous in his opposition to apartheid and willingness to risk everything, even his life, to ensure his people were freed from oppression.
He was influential because his actions, as a liberator, political prisoner and as president inspired many to strive for peace, brotherhood and justice.
He was iconic because his life was a testament to a dream that all men and women are created equal and should be treated as such.
President Mandela also believed that educational achievement was imperative for personal and societal transformation, once saying: 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’
On a personal note, in 1999, my family and I met and spent some time with President Mandela in Durban, South Africa.
My daughter, then 8 years old, was asked by Mandela what her favorite subject was in school - and she told him 'recess.’
He laughed heartily. That is the kind of man he was: he loved children, he loved people, he loved life.
Rest in peace, Madiba."
Dr. Jabari Simama,
Georgia Piedmont Technical College