Dear Members of the GSAS Community,
Now that we begin to grapple with the significance of today’s historic election results, it is vital for us to reaffirm our purpose as a community of scholars, teachers, and students. This morning, as we woke to deep divisions and yet-to-be-fathomed realignments, I recalled the words of the GSAS mission: “Guided by its Catholic and Jesuit traditions, we aspire to prepare students for teaching and leadership in a global society, by welcoming learners from diverse religious, economic, and cultural backgrounds into full participation in a scholarly endeavor.” We should be proud to belong to a community that defines itself in these diverse and inclusive terms in the service of knowledge, wisdom, and the common good.
Today I am asking all of us—professors, students, and administrators–to rededicate ourselves to the university and to our academic community because it remains a vital embodiment of that hope that only education can offer to the poor, the marginalized, the fearful, the oppressed, and the disenfranchised. Never has the power of education in creating spaces of choice, hope, and possibility been clearer. I am grateful for the depth of commitment you bring to the work of research, reading, experimentation, analysis, and teaching–to all those minute daily motions of academic freedom that end up expanding the funds of knowledge and shrinking the domains of prejudice.