While we are celebrating tens of thousands of graduating Consortium students across our region, we were devastated by the senseless loss of life and injuries from the racist attacks in Buffalo and Laguna Woods. As so many of our commencement speakers reminded us, we must work every day to reduce hatred and extremist polarization. As we face the increasing spread of horrifying fake conspiracies that seek to incite violence in our country, we must recommit to education, discourse, and to welcoming of those who have been marginalized and mistreated.
In the face of such hatred, I find inspiration and hope in our graduating students from around the world and from every state in the nation representing the entire spectrum of backgrounds, interests, and beliefs. Even as we mourn those lost to this act of terrorism, meeting these students, and hearing their messages fills me with optimism. They have endured challenges like no other graduating class in history, from a global pandemic to the Russian invasion, and from economic upheaval to cyber and bomb threats directed at our own campuses. I know that these graduates, together with the more than 400,000 college and university students enrolled across the National Capital Area, will meet the challenges we face. I am in awe of their strength and resilience, and I am grateful for the opportunity to support them as they strive for the changes, we all hope to see in our world.
Andrew Flagel, PhD
President and CEO
Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area