BLACKSBURG — The following is an open letter to the Virginia Tech community.

To Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff and Hokies everywhere:

Good morning,

Today we begin two weeks of celebration, reflection and conversation to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The opportunity to explore Dr. King’s spirit and philosophy is particularly important as we begin this academic year.

In 2015, important conversations about race, inclusion and diversity came to the forefront at campuses around the country, including Virginia Tech. These conversations bear directly on our goals to build a community that 1) prepares all of our students for the challenging and exciting world they are entering, and 2) positions our university to attract students, faculty, staff and collaborators from the broadest possible pools of talent in Virginia, the nation and the world. A better understanding of Dr. King’s multifaceted message of action, justice and service to others will inspire us to move our ongoing conversations toward purposeful and deliberate actions.

This will be an exciting and eventful semester for us. We are welcoming new leadership and devoting renewed energy toward the development of a more inclusive university through the initiatives of InclusiveVT. Although these efforts are already touching every facet of our community, involving more Hokies every day, many have not yet engaged. 

If you have been on the sidelines up till now, the events we have planned this month provide an excellent opportunity for you to become involved. A complete list is available on the Virginia Tech News website. I strongly encourage you to invest some of your time in these events this month, and to engage with InclusiveVT this year.

I’m proud of our university, and the way we have repeatedly demonstrated that we are Strong Together. That strength comes from our spirit of community, and I am asking each of you to consider what you can do to support the development of a more inclusive university. I can think of no better way to support our motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).


Tim Sands

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