Ideas, Diversity and Dialogue

September 6, 2016

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back! It is always exciting to start a new academic year and see students return to campus, bringing the energy and enthusiasm that makes us all proud to be a part of the University of Delaware family.

As we embark upon another great year, there are many topics of national and international significance that are ripe for discussion. At UD, we encourage well-informed, honest and robust dialogue, and as we participate in those discussions, we must remember to listen carefully and try to understand each other. Sadly, our society has experienced recent tragedy and unrest, and those events sometimes threaten to divide us along racial, religious and political lines.

Now, possibly more than ever, our nation needs strong models of respectful discourse, and we as the UD community should lead these conversations. Universities are marketplaces of ideas, and we are strengthened by our diverse experiences, aspirations and perspectives.

For that reason, UD fosters a spirit of unity and inclusion — Inclusive Excellence. The UD family is stronger because of our varied backgrounds, native languages, races, religions and sexual orientations and identities. Blue Hens are committed to the success of each other and our institution. We may not always share the same opinions, but because we respect each other, we can disagree without being rude or divisive.

Differing opinions are never so discernible as during an election cycle. We must all educate ourselves on the issues, the candidates and their platforms. And we are especially fortunate at UD to be able to engage in this great debate through the National Agenda Series: Road to the Presidency. Unlike many other campuses, UD suspends classes and closes offices on Election Day so all of our students, faculty and staff members can exercise their right to vote.

I wish everyone well as we begin the new academic year — another year in which we will continue to build upon our successes. Thank you for your relentless commitment to excellence and for being a part of this great university.

With a daring spirit bold, Delaware will shine!

Go Hens!

Sincerely,

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Domenico Grasso
Provost & Professor