Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:
The realities that face us on a daily basis are constant reminders of the disparities that permeate our society. In these past few months, we have seen the devastating effects of a virus that left no class of citizenry untouched and the recent heartlessness of one human being needlessly contributing to the death of another whom he was sworn to protect. Each circumstance has resulted in significant suffering for our communities, our states, and our nation as a whole. We are saddened beyond measure at the lives lost, the callousness displayed, and the justifiable anger that brings grief and despair to so many who have seemingly lost hope.
In 1822, Athens State University was founded as a women’s institution at a time when women were provided few opportunities for learning. During the past 198 years, we have transitioned into a university that seeks to provide opportunities for all. The injustices that discrimination and hatred foster only further serve to divide us from a commonality that all were created equal. As an institution of higher learning, we embrace the principles of equality and loathe those who treat our fellow humans as something other than equal. It is not what defines us as a university and certainly should not define our nation. Nonetheless, we see injustices committed far too often that say otherwise.
At Athens State University, we grieve with the family of George Floyd along with the families of numerous others who have suffered unbearable tragedies in our society. We condemn, in the strongest of terms, the continuation of these heartbreaking and unnecessary acts of violence against our fellow citizens. I ask that you join me in doing all within our power, as faculty, staff, and students, to put forward an example of tolerance, equality, inclusivity, and respect for others.
During trying times like these, it may be necessary to reach out to someone. If you feel as though you need to speak with a professional counselor, please go to www.athens.edu/counseling-services for more information. We are here to help and support each of you.
Take good care of yourself and each other.
Philip Way – President
Joe Delap – Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Keith Ferguson – Vice President for University Advancement
Sarah McAbee – Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services
Mike McCoy – Vice President for Financial Affairs
Belinda Krigel – Associate Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Richard Collie – Director of Student Inclusion Initiatives