Choosing Hope in These Challenging Times MacKenzie Riley Young | January 8, 2021

To the Thomas College Community,

It is a difficult time for our nation. 

Over the last year we have seen a deadly virus completely upend our way of life—impacting our most cherished institutions and operations and forcing vast physical divisions between beloved family and friends.  We have witnessed injustice in our streets that exposed the racial divisions we hadn’t understood were already there.  And we have seen tremendous political divisions that have led up to the most recent events in the nation’s capital.

Now, with the promise of a desperately needed new year, the events in Washington D.C. this week have laid bare the seemingly unbridgeable divide within our society in one of the most profound and shocking ways possible.  It feels like the promise of the new year is, itself, at risk.  And yet, even with all that we have witnessed and endured over the past year, I still have hope – for you, for our college, and for our communities and nation.  My hope is not rooted in rosy-eyed optimism but in the work we’ve done together.

Actions speak louder than words – and reveal true character.  And our actions over the past several months speak volumes about who we really are and give me great hope for the semester ahead. Despite a raging virus, we were able to put the health and safety of each other first and had a rich and meaningful fall semester.  When we stopped to face and acknowledge the truths of injustice, we formed the Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice so we could actively listen, understand, and take meaningful action in our community.

When it feels like there is no bridge long enough to span great divides, we must reflect on our purpose at Thomas College.  We must focus on what we as individuals and as a community can control and shape with our better angels.  Education empowers us to ask these questions with civility, seek new answers, and build better solutions.  Education is an infinite resource of empowerment that arms you with the ability to act.

Even in the hardest moments—as an individual, community, or a nation—there is always a reason to be hopeful and be optimistic that, together, we can build the better bridges of tomorrow.

I sincerely hope that you—like I—can still look forward to the new year, a new start, and a renewed sense of purpose for the challenges ahead.

With deep respect, 

Laurie G. Lachance