Honoring Dr. King’s legacy and fostering community

Dear WSU community,

Welcome to the start of another semester! I hope you had a relaxing winter break spent in the company of friends and family. Noel and I were fortunate to spend most of the break moving into our new house in Richland with the assistance of our son, Andrew, who was back home for the holidays. While it may not have been the most restful break, we enjoyed the time together as a family and were happy to get settled in the area as Noel acclimates to her new role at WSU’s Institute for Northwest Energy Futures.

As I consider the semester ahead, I am energized by the opportunities in store for us as an institution. Over the last year, there has been tremendous growth in the infrastructure supporting students, faculty, and staff across the system. From new buildings and scholarships to enhanced academic programming, we have seen significant investments in the quality, practical education and world-class research that take place on our campuses each and every day. I am excited to continue this momentum over the course of the spring and recognize that, thanks to these investments, we have an expanded capacity to continue serving communities at home and abroad.

As we look to further this work, WSU is also proud to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by reaffirming WSU’s commitment to overcoming division, removing systemic barriers, advancing equity, and combatting hate in all its forms. I encourage each of you to make the most of Monday’s day of service with the knowledge that collective healing does not come without compassion, reflection, and, above all, a willingness to learn.

In an increasingly divided world, these can feel like hard qualities to come by. It is my hope that in times of crisis and peace, Cougs will continue to do the work, to engage in the difficult discussions, and remember that:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


President, WSU System