In a moment when freedom of expression is under attack on American campuses, Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor Andrew D. Martin urged the Class of 2027 to fearlessly explore their ideas and encourage others to do the same.
“We are all on a path of learning here at WashU and we all deserve to learn in an environment of respect and empathy,” Martin told students at Convocation Aug. 26 in Brookings Quadrangle. “We all deserve to feel at home here — when we’re right and when we’re wrong.”
A beloved campus tradition, Convocation is the university’s official academic welcome for first-year students. The 1,834 members of the Class of 2027 entered the Quad wearing the colors of their residential colleges and cheered their res college cheers. One by one, university leaders welcomed the students to their new schools and new campus. Still, Martin stressed that home is more than a place — it’s “a state of living alongside others as your authentic self, integrating your identities with your passions and academic pursuits.”
“Regardless of our cultural differences, our religions or political viewpoints, our varied upbringings, or our personalities and identities — we are all seeking truth here at WashU,” Martin said. “Seeking knowledge, progress, growth and justice. We are all building this home together.”
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