Dr. George William Whitehurst, an Old Dominion University professor and retired politician who served in the United States House of Representatives, was the guest speaker of Norfolk Collegiate School’s annual Honor Convocation assembly on Aug. 28. The assembly jump starts a variety sessions which will take place throughout the school year, focused on honor at NCS and the honor code.
Whitehurst’s speech circled two themes, rights and privilege. While in congress there were many temptations and Whitehurst admitted being tested many times. He knew if he fell short ethically he would inevitably destroy the trust of all who supported him.
During his speech, Dr. Whitehurst told a story about a fellow congressman who illegally accepted $20,000. Whitehurst and his party wrestled with how to sanction their colleague for his unethical behavior. This spared a philosophical debate about privilege and rights. “It is a privilege to be a part of congress and this man in question forfeited his rights.”
In the conclusion of his speech, Whitehurst told students going to Norfolk Collegiate School is a privilege not a right. “You’re standing on the shoulders of students who’ve come before you, paving the way and setting a moral standard.” Whitehurst challenged students to draw an ethical line they will not cross. “What you do from here will sustain you later in life,” said Whitehurst.