From Dr. Debbie Cottrell:
As we look ahead to our new academic year—and all the excitement that brings—I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that numerous recent events in our larger world have put a spotlight on targeted violence, hate crimes, and other tragedies that remind us of an ongoing need for compassion, care, and education. I know that you join me in the sense of sorrow that comes after these events and also join me in holding especially the communities of El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Gilroy, California in prayer at this time. Students, parents, alumni, and many others of the TLU community have ties to these areas, and we send our condolences and care for the victims, their families, and anyone from TLU affected by these events.
As an institution of Lutheran higher education and as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, we have the opportunity to find ways to respond to these tragedies and to be mindful of how they impact members of our local community. The language in our Commitment to Diversity statement reminds us that our heritage grounds us in a belief that all people are beloved and fallible, that our lives are for the common good, and that we are called to be part of the unfolding justice and mercy of God. TLU has always been a place to address larger challenges, seek potential new ways to confront difficult issues, and work to serve all. As your president, I encourage us not to give in to hopelessness but to be empowered to stand up, come together, and work toward solutions. In addition, many in our community are interested in ongoing dialogue around civility and inclusion. As always, our Student Life area will provide direct communication and support to those students most immediately impacted by any tragedy. There are many ways for each of us to contribute to resolving these challenging issues in our world, and I hope we will all take the opportunity to do so.