At William & Mary, relationships matter. In the classroom, students and faculty work closely together with curiosity and a shared drive to understand. In our residential community, students develop lifelong relationships with one another. Across campus, faculty and staff work together as colleagues and collaborators and forge strong mentoring relationships with students. These relationships define and enrich our time at W&M, and deep human connections sustain us during times of personal and collective struggle.
These are painful days in our nation and in our world. Racism at its worst, including the killing of African Americans by police, violates our shared humanity and is an affront to the relationships that are the foundation of community. It is hard to be physically apart from one another right now. And yet our relationships endure and can uphold us.
As we have listened to our campus over the last several days, we have heard recurring questions about the relationship between W&M's own law enforcement officers and other members of our community. Chief Deb Cheesebro, Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of WMPD, has heard those questions as well, and has responded to many of the community’s concerns. We are fortunate, indeed, to have her leading our police department.
While Chief Cheesebro addresses students specifically, we believe her message should be heard by our entire community. We share her message to reaffirm, on behalf of the academic and administrative leadership of W&M, our shared commitment to confronting and combating racism. As our president said in her message on Sunday, "African Americans in our community are asking, in this moment, do you recognize my full humanity? We do. We will face this with you."
Peggy Agouris, Provost
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs
Sam Jones, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
Amy Sebring, Vice President for Finance and Technology