Dear Students,

Welcome back to campus.  I hope your spring classes are off to a wonderful start.

I am compelled to write as we begin a new semester to offer a reflection on a recent cowardly action by an individual who yelled a racial slur and sexually graphic insult from a moving car to an undergraduate student.

In my New Student Convocation message in August, I offered these words: Communities are strengthened or diminished each day by the individual actions of each member. Acts of racism, sexism and homophobia harm the human spirit and diminish us all. Wherever you are and wherever you go as an Elon student, I ask you to conduct yourselves with the highest standards of decency and respect.

As we celebrate Black History Month in February, this is a good time to reflect on the words of the Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who dreamed that his own children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

The sterling character of those who endure insult, rise above it and continue to work with dignity to make the Elon community better and stronger each day stands in sharp contrast to the low character of the cowardly perpetrator. 

I have every hope that your generation has the best opportunity in history to eradicate such senseless acts of hatred and intolerance from American life.

As a member of the Elon community, I hope you will work to strengthen it each day by showing care and respect to others and by condemning unprincipled behavior when you witness it.

I send every good wish for a successful academic term, and trust that you will continue to use your Elon education to be a blessing to the world.


Leo M. Lambert