Our Commitment to Community Matters Now More than Ever

Jan 7, 2021

University Community,

Yesterday, the very idea of our country was challenged. The U.S. Capitol— an icon of our democracy —was taken by force. More importantly – the citizens who have been elected by the people to lead the country and uphold the Constitution were threatened and attacked. What we witnessed was horrific, reprehensible, and an affront to each of us.

I hold onto hope because our country is so appalled by what happened yesterday. Our elected leaders persevered through a violent attack to carry out their duties and we now know that the US Congress has certified that Joe Biden will take office on January 20th as the 46th President of the United States and that Kamala Harris will be the first woman of color to hold the office of Vice President. President Trump has now pledged there will be an orderly transition.

As an educational community, it is important that we each take time to reflect on what we saw yesterday, and what we didn’t see yesterday. One important part of the mission of William Peace University is for our students to have skills for ethical citizenship. Yesterday’s rioters displayed the exact opposite. There will be significant analysis of the events that unfolded in the coming days, weeks and months by very thoughtful scholars and leaders – I encourage us all to listen and consider the many perspectives that are already emerging in response to yesterday’s events, around critical issues such as privilege, racism, political violence, the Constitution, leadership, and more.

While it is a New Year, it is not a “new day”. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, grappling with hardship and loss. Many of our citizens continue to endure racism, hate and violence. And yesterday we observed events that we hoped we never would witness in our country. We have a lot of hard work to do.

In the face of this incredibly challenging time, I am asking that we remain steadfast in our Commitment to Community here at William Peace University. We are not a perfect community, but a very good one – composed of talented, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate students, faculty and staff. The pursuit and provision of higher education is a privilege we should not take lightly. And the intersection of this pursuit and the space in which it happens is the perfect place for meaningful progress and change to occur —through an educated citizenry—and a committed community.

With hope and peace,

President Ralph