Nov. 9, 2016
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
At the Inaugural ceremony last week, I talked of how, in a rapidly changing world, Brandeis’ core values — a commitment to academic excellence, openness, inclusiveness, self-criticism — have never been more important.
This is so true today, after the country has experienced an extraordinarily divisive and polarizing election. Since the University’s founding, Brandeis students have engaged in political and policy debates with all the passion and intellect they bring to their academic pursuits. I know that today many members of our community have strong feelings about the outcome of the election and the future. But what members of our community have always done is support one another, engage with one another, ask questions of one another, and challenge one another with compassion and respect. This tradition has never been more important, and we must embrace it anew in the days ahead, in our classrooms and residence halls, and across the campus.
I am thankful to the students who organized a time this evening to “Talk/Listen/Hug/Cry/Laugh About Presidential Election Results Together.” Tomorrow, Brandeis celebrates Kindness Day, when students, staff, and faculty are urged to extend an extra thank you to those who have helped them in their life at Brandeis, in ways large or small.
When we encounter the unexpected, we have a choice: to turn inward, or reach out. This is an ideal moment to choose the latter.