Dear Members of the Campus Community,

Over the past few months I have thought of little else but the health and safety of our Puget Sound community. In the midst of the COVID-19 health pandemic we are doing everything we can to protect each other from contracting a virus capable of inflicting suffering, pain and death.

Over the past week, with that uppermost in my mind, I found myself watching news footage of a different kind of violence unfolding throughout our country. A violence that also strikes bone-deep but is caused not by germs and pathogens but by human beings.

The question uppermost in my mind—and I imagine in many of yours—is “Why?”

I wish I had the words to explain the ongoing manifestation of hatred, fear and bias in our world. I wish I had the power to hasten the pace of change that our world so desperately needs.

What I do have is hope. I was moved by a column by David Brooks in last Thursday’s issue of The New York Times, in which he wrote that “hard times are the making of character, a revelation of character and a test of character.” He goes on to acknowledge “the reality that to be an American is both a gift and a task. Every generation faces its own apocalypse, and, of course, we will live up to our moment just as our ancestors did theirs.”

While I have reached out to you much too often in the wake of tragedy in our country, I also know that we are strong enough, brave enough, and resilient enough to make the most of the times in which we live. We are gifts to each other; we are agents of change; we can make the world a better place, day by day, through our actions, our choices, and our care for one another. We will not only get through these times but make the world a better place for each other and for generations to come.

Be well. Stay safe. 

Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D. | President