To: The W&L 社区
在我的 previous message to you, I emphasized that W&L stands with those demanding fundamental changes to systems and practices that perpetuate racial inequality and injustice. This stance is rooted in our personal and institutional values, and in our educational mission, which commits us to diversity and inclusion and obligates us to apply our talents and resources in the service of the public good. We are called to do everything in our collective power to eradicate racism in all its forms, wherever it is found.
I have heard from many of you in recent weeks. Some of you have recounted painful experiences of exclusion and racism during your time as students or employees at W&L. Some of you have stressed the need for a more thorough and candid accounting of our history. And some of you have expressed the conflict you feel between your love of W&L and your concern about our prominent association with Robert E. Lee, whose presidency transformed the university, but who also led the Confederate army in defending slavery and has come to symbolize the defense of racial oppression that we unequivocally reject.
你们许多人都呼吁按照我们的价值观果断行动。你问我，我们所做的。你问我还有什么我们会做的。我欢迎这些问题 - 我每天都在问自己。
在我的 就职演说, delivered one month after white supremacists descended on Charlottesville in 2017, I spoke proudly of the distinctive strengths of W&L, but I also noted that we are the least racially diverse of the top liberal arts institutions. Our relative lack of diversity means that we are missing out on talent, and it prevents us from truly preparing our students to be engaged citizens in a global and diverse society.
I also made it clear that genuine inclusion of all members of the W&L community requires frank discussion of our institutional history. The ways that slavery, the Civil War, and segregation are understood and memorialized affect the lived experience of students, faculty, and staff at W&L.
多样性，包容性和历史教育是中央优先 战略计划 adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2018. The plan identifies the objectives toward which we strive and the initiatives that will drive us forward. Among those are ambitious plans to increase our racial and socioeconomic diversity and to ensure that every member of our community is able to thrive at W&L.
Plans without actions are empty promises. To advance diversity and inclusion at W&L, determined and sustained effort is required on many fronts – admissions, financial aid, academics, student life, hiring and retention, and alumni engagement.
整个大学是在努力工作，以实现这些目标。我们努力的范围在传送 我们已经采取的步骤的详细核算 在过去的三年中，我建议你阅读。在这里，我只想分享一些亮点和持续的承诺：
- Undergraduate Admissions has increased the number of domestic students of color at W&L by 50% since 2016. The incoming undergraduate class – 20% of whom are domestic students of color – is the most diverse in W&L history and also has the highest median SAT score. Law School Admissions has increased domestic students of color to 22% of the student body while simultaneously improving the median LSAT and GPA of incoming students. We will continue to identify and employ admissions strategies that have proven successful in recruiting outstanding students of color.
- Financial aid meets 100% of demonstrated need for all undergraduate students without requiring loans. Fewer than 20 schools in the country do this. We have extended the W&L Promise – providing at least a full-tuition grant – to families earning less than $100,000. Approximately half of W&L families receive need-based aid, on which we spend $49 million per year. We will continue raising funds to ensure that no compelling applicant is ever denied admission due to financial circumstances and to make the full range of curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular opportunities at W&L accessible to every student.
- The undergraduate faculty initiated a review of W&L’s general education requirements. We will continue to develop curricular opportunities for our students to understand racial inequality and injustice and to become agents for change in their personal and professional lives.
- 我们通过我们的秋季和冬季院校提供教师和工作人员的包容性教学和指导方案。定位为所有一年级学生包括多元化培训。包容性和参与办公室的工作将由去年的第25团聚的荣誉之类的1994年建立了$ 1百万捐赠支持。我们将继续扩大，可以提高我们的学生，教师和工作人员的学术，社会和专业的经验做法，培训机会，对我们社会的所有成员。
- We created a new cabinet-level position – Director of Institutional History and Museums – to offer educational programs, mentor student research, support faculty projects, and develop a museum in which the many stories of W&L can be told. We will continue to engage our community in the exploration of our history and its significant connections to American history, including the lives of African Americans at W&L and the roles Robert E. Lee played as both Confederate general and college president.
Good ideas come from all corners of the W&L community. Progress begins with listening. In recent days, I have had many conversations with students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I have received many thoughtful letters. I am listening carefully, and I will continue to do so.
The Board of Trustees is listening, too. At the request of the Executive Committee of the Student Body and the faculty of the School of Law, the board has agreed to reconsider the petition to offer graduates a diploma without pictures of our namesakes. The board is also eager to hear your perspectives on the university, recent national events, and issues of race and their implications for W&L. Trustees will convene conversations with students, faculty, and staff, and the 校友 Board will conduct outreach to gather input from the breadth of our alumni population. You are also invited to 在线提交您的想法.
- Africana Studies will offer a year-long speaker series, “Activism and the Black Experience,” which will explore the content, context, and consequences of black protest. This evening, a related panel discussion, “Perspectives on Black Protest: Comprehending the Current Crisis,” will feature five of our own faculty members. Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” will give a virtual talk at W&L when classes resume. The library is developing a list of resources for learning more about anti-racism.
- We will establish the George Floyd Endowment for programming in W&L’s Office of Inclusion and Engagement, thanks to the generosity of trustees Dana J. Bolden ’89 and William Toles ’92 ’95L, who have joined with fellow alumni William Hill ’74 ’77L, Robert Grey ’76L and William Thornton ’88 to raise over $100,000 in hopes of inspiring other Black alumni to support this work. All alumni, parents, and friends are welcome to contribute to this effort. We will also make it possible to support diversity and inclusion initiatives through the Annual Fund.
The W&L community is united by the desire to be our best selves and to realize our highest ideals on campus, and by doing so, to make the greatest positive difference in the world. This is a collective effort to which each of us must contribute. I invite students to think critically about how they can make their leadership, organizations, and social life truly representative and inclusive of all of their peers. I invite faculty, coaches, and staff to enhance the potential of our academic and extra-curricular programs to prepare our graduates to be responsible leaders in a global and diverse society. And I invite our alumni to envision and plan programs and events that appeal to the full range of fellow alumni in their local chapters. We all have a role in improving the quality of our community, and I look forward to leading the effort in partnership with all of you. Together, we can create a brighter future for W&L and beyond.