President's statement on Charlottesville August 2017

We at Luther College are committed to care for each person and for the community; to seek truth, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom; to act with integrity; to embrace diversity; to foster a culture of inclusion; and to respect the dignity of each person. These core values and commitments define us and our college. True to them, we foster rigorous engagement and thinking in pursuit of truth and understanding, we respect and uphold the rights of free speech and peaceable assembly, and we condemn and reject hatred and bigotry.

As we begin this new academic year, the news is filled with reports about the recent events at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Like millions of Americans and people around the world, I was saddened, shocked, and deeply disturbed by these events. They challenge the core values and commitments that define us at Luther.  As we begin our new year together, I unequivocally reject and abhor the racist, white supremacist, and anti-Semitic creeds evident in chants, posters, and statements at Charlottesville. They are antithetical to our core Luther values.

Our mission calls us to teach and learn in accordance with our values of community, human dignity, justice, freedom, and service.  As we return to campus in the coming days, let us re-dedicate ourselves and our community to our core values. They are much more than our legacy. They are the values that shape our life together now.

Editor's note-please see Pastor Mike Blair's post on Luther's Ideas and Creations blog for a follow up.