A Community Message From President McCormick
The following message was sent from the Office of the President to the Elizabethtown College community on May 31, 2020.
Dear Elizabethtown College Community:
Our country is dealing with many difficult issues at the present time. For far too long, race and underlying racial tensions have permeated our society. As an institution grounded in principles of social justice, peace, and human dignity, we denounce the actions made by police officers in Minneapolis against George Floyd—the most recent African American victim of senseless violence. As a community, I ask you all to keep the Floyd family and friends in your thoughts or prayers as we mourn the tragic loss of his life. No family or community should have to deal with the magnitude of this tragedy without the support of the broader society. The violence that has erupted in cities throughout our country demonstrates the change that is desperately needed, but our focus must be on how we can work together in nonviolent ways to truly make change happen. It must start here on our own campus and in our Elizabethtown community.
There is no greater time than now to come together in a peaceful movement and improve civil discourse. Our community stands firm in rejecting systemic oppression, and we are committed to working with all to help those who have been marginalized and harmed.
Nelson Mandela once wrote, “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
More than ever, we must, as Nelson Mandela said, optimistically rise against the unacceptable behaviors of others—embracing our core values of social justice, peace, and human dignity. I ask our Etown community members to listen to others’ viewpoints, work harder to be accepting of others for who they are and what they stand for, and finally, align ourselves with an even better dedication to make our campus more inclusive and understanding of our differences. By taking these actions, our community can make an impact on the greater world by affirming our commitment to our mission and values.
If you are a student struggling to cope with recent events and would like to speak with someone, please reach out to our Student Counseling Services for assistance and resources.
My hope is that you will join our community as we work together to make a positive change in the lives of others.
With peace and sincerity,
President McCormick, J.D.