There’s no question that recent world events have tested the mettle of campus communities at colleges and universities across America. WashU is no exception. The terrorist attack of October 7 and the subsequent turmoil and loss of innocent lives in the aftermath have inflamed more than just the Middle East, including in close-knit communities like ours.
Great universities like ours push the boundaries of currently accepted knowledge and understanding. So, too, do the individuals and groups who comprise them. Lively intellectual conversations are as commonplace as comments about the weather. As chancellor, it’s important that I help cultivate a campus community in which everyone has a voice, the freedom to exercise their rights and duties to speak out against injustice and inequity, and an opportunity to learn from one another without insult or intimidation.
This moment is about the talented students who’ve done the work, served their communities, run the race, crushed the obstacles, and handed it all over with hopeful hearts to Washington University.
While this past year has been painful to say the least, let’s use it as a reminder of the value of our higher education institutions and the crucial purpose we play in developing life-changing interventions and treatments, cultivating globally-minded leaders, and bringing to light the injustices happening in our communities and around the world.