The former governor and movie star honored New Jersey Holocaust survivors and spoke against antisemitism at the university.
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- Schwarzenegger received an honorary doctorate of public service from the university.
- He visited Stockton’s Holocaust resource center to meet with local survivors.
- Schwarzenegger’s message was about choosing strength despite how difficult it may be.
Former California governor, bodybuilder, and “Terminator” star Arnold Schwarzenegger visited Stockton University to speak out against hate and antisemitism.
Schwarzenegger began his March 6 visit by going to the Sara & Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center on Stockton’s Galloway campus to meet with Holocaust survivors now living in New Jersey.
According to an article from the school, more than 600 students, faculty, staff, guests, survivors, and their families later listened to Schwarzenegger’s message of “choosing strength,” something the ex-bodybuilder knows about.
“Your muscles only grow from resistance. It wasn’t easy. It was uncomfortable,” Schwarzenegger said. “Your mind and character are no different than your body and muscles. It is easier to hate than it is to learn. Easier isn’t better.”
Schwarzenegger has spoken against antisemitism and hate since his term as the 38th California governor, according to the article. He was born to a former Nazi soldier, whom he has called “a broken man” and someone who threw his life away because of hateful beliefs.
Schwarzenegger praised Stockton University, saying it is “known for its work studying the Holocaust and fighting hate and fighting for inclusion.”
He said he didn’t want “to preach to the choir.” He wanted to speak to anyone who has stumbled on their path or thinks someone is inferior or out to get them because of their religion or the color of their skin.
“It’s not easy to look in the mirror and change your own life. Discomfort is how we grow strong,” he said. “You have to struggle to build strength.”
Schwarzenegger received an honorary doctorate of public service from Stockton University.
“This morning, we honor an individual whose artistic career, dedication to public service and extensive philanthropy exemplify Stockton’s values,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said.
“He is one of the most extraordinary individuals of our time, whose commitment and success in the entertainment industry, and his government, public policy and non-profit work has earned him a place among Stockton’s.”