Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016
Dear VCU and VCU Health Communities,
Yesterday, we elected new leaders for our city, commonwealth and nation. I am grateful to those of you who made your voice heard during the electoral process, including many of our students who voted for the first time. Whether or not your preferred candidate won, you were a part of history and a part of the process that moves our democracy forward. Thank you. I hope you will always continue to make your voice heard, both as voters and as well-educated leaders in our society.
As with any election, some members of our community are enthusiastic about the winners, others are not. For many, this election cycle was notably emotional and difficult.
Now is the time, then, to demonstrate the values that make Virginia Commonwealth University such a remarkable place. We reaffirm our commitment to working together across boundaries of discipline or scholarship, as members of one intellectual community, to achieve what’s difficult. We reaffirm our commitment to inclusion, to ensuring that every person who comes to VCU is respected and emboldened to succeed. We reaffirm that we will always be a place of the highest integrity, accountability, and we will offer an unyielding commitment to serving those who need us.
History changes with every election. What does not change are the commitments we share as one community that is relentlessly focused on advancing the human experience for all people.
You continue to inspire me. And I know you will continue to be a bright light for Richmond, Virginia, our nation and our world.
Michael Rao, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health System