Good morning,

Today we honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I hope each of us will take some time to reflect on his enduring message of equality and justice, recognize those who courageously followed in his footsteps, and consider what we each can do to support our Principles of Community.

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death. We can pay tribute to this milestone by strengthening our commitment to InclusiveVT, our institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. 2018 will feature an ongoing conversation about our Beyond Boundaries Vision and the university’s future direction. In order to realize our potential to make the world a better place, we must demonstrate our dedication to inclusion, diversity, and empathy through our actions. Much work has already been done to lay the foundation for a year of meaningful progress at Virginia Tech. More than 90 percent of our students have completed DiversityEDU training. We’ve launched ExploreVT, the Black College Institute, and our inaugural research summit for historically black college and universities. This April we will proudly host the Faculty Women of Color in the Academy National Conference.

Ultimately, our success depends on you.

The next two weeks will feature several opportunities to honor Dr. King, engage in important community conversations, and set the tone for a year of significant progress toward our goals. They include the first MLK Oration Competition, exhibitions at the Moss Arts Center, and keynote speaker W. Kamau Bell of United Shades of America. A complete list of events is available online.

Please take the opportunity to participate, reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and consider what you can do to support a stronger Virginia Tech community in 2018.

In the spirit of Ut Prosim,

Tim Sands,

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