Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Higher Learning, Higher Pursuits
January 8, 2021
This week we witnessed a riotous and destructive crowd of people overrun the U.S. Capitol, a beacon of democracy, in an event described as “a dark moment” in our nation’s history. We condemn the unlawful actions to disrupt the people’s business through their elected representatives as an attack on our rule of law and on our Constitution. What remains after this disturbing event are deep divisions in our society, strong expressions of wildly divergent views, and the need for multiple and sustainable ways for everyone to have voice, be heard, and do so in civil, constructive, and equitable ways.
Institutions of higher learning have a role to play in this pursuit. Our colleges and universities develop students prepared to participate civically and civilly in our democracy by instilling in them the ability to think critically, to distinguish facts from fancy, to identify truth, and to synthesize ideas. These ideas have potential as suggestions and solutions for complex issues in our society and in our individual life choices. Our campuses provide a safe space to learn about ourselves, shape our world view, and exchange ideas as we determine how best to co-exist despite differences and make sense of the fractured sources of information that contribute to the nation’s rift.
As a community, we support each other and our current and future students. In these challenging times, our doors remain open, creating an environment that promotes learning, supports diverse perspectives, and demonstrates respect for humanity and our differences. Our community actively embraces and engages in diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices. This work impacts each of us and encourages value and belonging for our community.
Our college motto, Building Minds. Building Futures, serves as a foundation for building bridges for stronger communities, for students ready to improve their lives through economic mobility, intellectual engagement, leadership, and service. Our seal, Sapere Aude – the Latin phrase meaning, “Dare to Know” – reflects our commitment to knowledge and learning as the pathway that facilitates these outcomes. Together, these ideals guide our work to strengthen our society, prepare our students as contributors, and achieve higher pursuits.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles