Message from the Office of the President
January 19 · 5:45 P.M.
January 19, 2021
Dear Rambler Community,
We want to welcome everyone to the start of the spring semester. While this semester will continue to be one in which we connect mostly virtually, we are pleased to hold an increased number of on-campus classes and host some students in our residence halls. By working together, we will make it a vibrant and safe experience for everyone.
During the coming weeks, we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month. This week, we mark the inauguration of our next President and Vice President of the United States. Given this past year and the events that have impacted every American, there is a certain poignancy, a call for deep reflection, and reason to hope in these moments.
Dr. King’s words and actions continue to have contemporary meaning and impact decades after his death. Likewise, this week’s inauguration events mark the 59th time in our nation’s history that we have fulfilled the Constitutional mandate. Yet the ceremony and official swearing into office is not just another routine occasion with historical roots. We are in the midst of a pandemic that continues to claim lives. There are concerns about the security of events at the U.S. Capitol and state capitols following the violence in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. There is a palpable divide among neighbors and communities. Yet watching another barrier fall as Kamala Harris, a woman, Black American, and South Asian American, is sworn in as vice president, reaffirms the hopes and dreams of so many who call our country home.
It is incumbent upon all of us to acknowledge that we are a country made up of a diverse population of people with different experiences and viewpoints. Each of us bears a responsibility for working diligently to make that diversity the strength that it should be. It is important to note that the people, the systems, and the rule of law defending our democracy have stood firm, yet we cannot fall into complacency.
Like affirming that Black lives matter and acknowledging that discrimination of any form is not acceptable, exercising our responsibilities in a democracy is not something that is one and done. Let us mark January 2021 not only as the start of our spring semester but also as the start of a renewed commitment to our Jesuit ideals, knowing the far-reaching impact we can make in all areas of our society.
Jo Ann Rooney, EdD, JD, LLM
Norberto Grzywacz, PhD
Provost and Chief Academic Officer