Message from the President on Charlottesville, Virginia

August 15, 2017

Simmons Academic Campus

A message from President Helen Drinan

The disturbing news and images from Charlottesville this past weekend are devastating. The violence there serves as a stark reminder of some of the darkest days in world history, and it casts a deep pall over our democracy.

We mourn the three lives lost: Heather Heyer, who was raising her voice against violent demonstrators at the time of her untimely death; Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M Bates of the Virginia State Police, killed in the line of duty protecting the lives of American citizens.

I condemn in the strongest possible way the divisive ideology of those who marched with hate in their hearts and reaffirm that we at Simmons College stand united in our support of the principles of peace, unity, and compassion.

A Simmons education must be the catalyst for our students to make meaningful contributions to a more peaceful and tolerant society. With that in mind, it is up to us to create an environment that encourages free expression of ideas – but also allows for different points of view in a constructive and respectful way.

I believe our community at Simmons aspires to the kind of behavior we want to see in the broader world – a safe place where we value differences, a place where we listen with curiosity instead of hate, and a place where we take the time to learn about points of view that are different from our own. Each day, every one of us plays a role in maintaining this kind of atmosphere at Simmons because we know it takes both intention and attention.

Charlottesville is yet another reminder that we must continue to treat each other with respect and with kindness. By understanding, accepting, and celebrating the differences of each of us, Simmons College will continue striving to uphold a vision of inclusivity and mutual respect.

We look forward to having everyone back on campus on September 3rd and to moving forward together in peace.