Honoring Dr. King and Dr. Willie

Dear Orange Friends,

Today is the national observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. It’s a day when the Syracuse University community traditionally comes together to reflect on his life and legacy. This year, because of the pandemic, the University will hold a virtual event on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET, featuring civil rights activist Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of Dr. King.

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Everyday Gratitude

Dear Orange Friends,

In what has been a tough year for so many in our Orange community, I have learned to treasure small everyday graces, and not to take them for granted. One of those graces for me has been a smile, wave and friendly greeting as I pass the booth entering campus from South Crouse Avenue. Inside that booth is Ed Rother, who has been showing kindness to visitors to Syracuse University for many years.

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Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Dear Orange Friends:

Today, Syracuse University celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It’s an opportunity to honor and recognize the history, culture, values and continued contributions of Indigenous peoples. This day inspires our acknowledgement of ancestral lands.

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Observing the 20th Anniversary of 9.11

Dear Orange Friends:

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and aboard Flight 93. Some of our students weren’t yet born on Sept. 11, 2001. Many are too young to remember how that day changed how we viewed ourselves, our country and our world. As I do, others will always remember exactly where they were when the attacks happened. I remember watching the towers fall. I remember the fear, the anger and the grief.

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Coming Out of COVID

Dear Orange Friends:

In July I spent a lot of time on the road and in airports, and a lot of time talking with Syracuse folks from all over. Two things have impressed me from this experience: First, it is going to be a fairly long time before we really come out of COVID and all the things it has changed for us as a community. And second, by and large, people at Syracuse were amazing in how they coped and kept going throughout the past 18 months.

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Our Continued Commitment to Access and Inclusion

Dear Orange Friends:

Last fall, I reaffirmed our commitment to embracing the disability community as One University. At that time, I approved adoption of the Phase One recommendations of the Disability External Review Committee. Over the course of the 2020-21 academic year, we began implementation of initiatives designed to ensure that our diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts embrace the disability community that includes our colleagues, students and friends here at Syracuse University.

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Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy

Dear Orange Friends,

So much has changed in the world since we last observed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. This year, we recognize his impact and celebrate his dream against a backdrop of troubling events. Anti-Black racism continues to divide us. Continue Reading

Reimagining Our Holiday Traditions

Dear Orange Friends:

Like many of you, I look forward to the holiday season every year. It is a time to enjoy our beloved traditions with family and friends and discover new ones. The pandemic has forced us to do everything differently, including how we celebrate this time of year. I am so very proud of our creative faculty, staff and students who are reimagining ways for the Orange family to experience our cherished traditions in the era of social distancing.

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Rising to the Occasion

Dear Orange Friends:

Three weeks of the Fall 2020 semester are now behind us. We have learned so much in those weeks, including about the grit and grace of our Orange community.

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