As we have talked with a number of students and colleagues today, it is clear that this is a critical moment for America—a moment when we sense how divided we are as a nation—and when it is difficult to know how we will bridge those divides. The world now looks toward the United States to see how we come together and move forward after an election that so sharply divided our country.
In challenging times, we come to know more about ourselves and our values as we articulate our concerns, our goals, and our visions for the future. Most important for the UMBC community and our fellow citizens now is remembering how much we share with one another as fellow humans. Though we may have very different opinions, mutual respect and support for one another will lead us toward shared goals.
As our university vision states, UMBC is a community committed to advancing knowledge, economic prosperity, and social justice, and we do so by welcoming and inspiring inquisitive minds from all backgrounds. The work that we do here is noble: We seek the truth, we educate the next generation of leaders, and we help to solve the problems of humankind. Education is more important now than ever.
In UMBC's spirit of "Grit and Greatness," we urge each of you, individually and collectively, to remember that we are all leaders working toward important goals for ourselves, our communities, and our world, and we are also all here to support one another.
University leaders are planning additional opportunities for campus conversations in the near future. Students who would prefer to speak one-on-one with a supportive staff member rather than attend an event are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center at 410-455-2472.