‘The Terminator’ comes to NJ with important message for students
🔴 Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger talks to Stockton students about terminating hate
🔴 Nearly 700 people including Holocaust survivors turned out to hear his message
🔴 He encouraged everyone to choose a life of strength
GALLOWAY — Stockton University students were treated to something very cool on Monday: a visit from actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Schwarzenegger has spent most of his life helping people build their strength.
“Your muscles grow from resistance. It wasn’t easy. It was uncomfortable. Your mind and character are no different than your body and muscles,” the former bodybuilder told students and guests during his presentation centered on terminating hate.
Nearly 700 students, faculty, staff, and invited guests, including local Holocaust survivors and their families, turned out to hear Schwarzenegger’s message.
The “Terminator” actor began his visit at the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center on Stockton’s Galloway campus, where he met with Holocaust survivors and their families, and learned about the center, which preserves and shares the history of the Holocaust and life stories of South Jersey survivors.
The “Kindergarten Cop” star was born in Austria two years after World War II to a former Nazi soldier. Since serving as the 38th governor of California, Schwarzenegger has been very outspoken about fighting antisemitism and hate.
Last September, he even toured the Auschwitz concentration camp in Germany.
“Today, I don’t want to preach to the choir. I want to talk to the people out there who may have stumbled on their path. I want to talk to you if you found yourself thinking anyone is inferior or out to get them because of their religion or color of skin,” he said.
Schwarzenegger told the crowd he has seen firsthand people who threw away their future because of hateful beliefs. He called his father a broken man who had to drink to numb the pain.
The “Predator” actor told the audience that if they ever find themselves at a crossroads wondering if the path of hate may make sense for one reason or another, he said they will not find success, happiness, or fulfillment on that road.
Instead, he encouraged them to choose a life of strength.
Schwarzenegger recounted how he struggled through pain and adversity to build muscle and go on to be one of the top bodybuilders in the world before transitioning to careers in film and politics.
“It’s not easy to look in the mirror and change your own life. Discomfort is how we grow strong. You have to struggle to build strength,” he said.
Schwarzenegger said he was impressed with Stockton’s work, for studying the Holocaust and fighting hate, and fighting for inclusion.
Stockton President Harvey Kessleman presented Schwarzenegger with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.
“This morning, we honor an individual whose artistic career, dedication to public service and extensive philanthropy exemplify Stockton’s values. 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 nonprofit work has earned him a place among Stockton’s,” Kesselman said.
Many students saw this visit from Schwarzenegger as a great opportunity that they could not wait to embrace. Others called him an “icon” and that this opportunity was an “honor.”
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