I know so many of you, like myself, are feeling such deep pain and frustration over all our country is confronting. Today I just wanted to make sure you heard clearly from me that Longwood stands with you as all of America struggles against injustice, racism and despair.
History will judge this moment, and the systemic forces and failings so long in motion and manifest at this point of eruption.
You have a hard-won clarity of vision as a generation, from 9/11 through ‘08 to covid’s pandemic disruption of our present — through it all with a sense of the imperative of diverse perspective and caring for one another and understanding one another, through it all with a sense of the pain that can be wrenching and constant when America fails in those ideals.
At a time that history will judge it can be hard to find words that suffice.
At a different time, a generation ago when America’s contradictions were also self-evident to all, Bobby Kennedy when struggling for words but needing them quoted the Greek poet Aeschylus:
In our sleep,
pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart
until, in our own despair,
against our will, comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God.
Look out for one another and seek out one another — as we all try to find the way forward to a truer day, urgently, when justice and righteousness abound. This moment and the future call for you to be the citizen leaders the Alma Mater has taught you to be.