On March 21, President Trump signed an executive order protecting freedom of speech on college campuses. More than 100 student activists joined him in the East Room of the White House—USC Marshall and Leventhal undergrad Maxwell Brandon ’20 was among them.
“I think that regardless of who holds the office, an invitation from the White House is a true honor,” Brandon said. “Being in the room, only a few feet away from President Trump, as he signed the executive order was an incredible experience, one I will not soon forget.”
About a week prior to the signing, the White House had sent a request to Young America's Foundation, a conservative youth organization, asking for a list of students who have contributed to the promotion of free speech on campuses across the nation. Brandon made the list.
“I was selected by the Foundation because they felt the USC YAF chapter has already made its presence felt here on campus." --Maxwell Brandon '20, Chairman, USC YAF
As a sophomore, he had founded a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter (an affiliate of Young America’s Foundation) at USC. In October, it was named Chapter of the Month—out of 400 YAF chapters.
“I was selected by the Foundation because they felt the USC YAF chapter, although young (not even 2 years old) has already made its presence felt here on campus,” said Brandon.
“Since I am chairman, I seem to get most of the credit. But our chapter has very dedicated members who make everything possible. I don't view the invitation as an invitation for Maxwell Brandon, but an invitation for the entire chapter and USC community.”
Brandon felt a swell of pride as he stood near the president: “Pride in knowing that what YAF is doing here at USC, and around the country, is making a difference worthy of recognition.”