A Message from President Richard Cosentino
Wednesday, Jun 03, 2020

Lander Community,

The past week has shaken our country to its core and changed our lives forever. Like so many of you, I am deeply appalled by the tragic events that have taken place across our nation, and it is with genuine sadness that we mourn the loss of Mr. George Floyd and the countless others who have lost their lives to acts of violence perpetrated by hatred and prejudice.

Lander’s administration, our deans, our faculty, our staff and our students stand in solidarity with the black community and with all who are victims of inequality. We must remain aware that the scourge of racism threatens who we are as individuals and as Americans. We cannot – and will not – tolerate discrimination, implicit bias, racism, or violence in any form.

Yesterday, members of our local community – including many of our own students, faculty, staff and alumni – came together in Uptown Greenwood for a peaceful and powerful demonstration, voicing their concerns and protesting the injustice that many across our nation have experienced.  

In the days and weeks ahead, our Diversity Advisory Committee, Division of Student Affairs, and other affinity groups will continue this important conversation on our own campus. We will take deliberate actions to further expand the network of support for our colleagues and students of color. We will draw upon the counsel of our community leaders, and we will leverage the great talent, intellect and high ethical standards of our students, faculty, staff and alumni to play our part in the mitigation of injustice and inequality that are painful and destructive.

The Lander University Bearcat Creed calls on us to strive to maintain the standards of academic integrity and personal character; exemplify respect for all persons and discourage prejudice; value diverse opinions and encourage collaboration; be mindful of how words and actions can impact others, and express genuine concern for individuals through acts of kindness and compassion. Through these values, we ensure the Lander community is one in which all individuals feel safe, valued and welcome.

Throughout Lander’s history, we have educated South Carolina’s youth, who increasingly represent our diverse population, to become the very leaders who will effect change in our future. But this particular moment in history – indeed, the very hope of society – is calling on us to do more and do better. We must face these issues head-on with understanding, communication, education and respect.

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays once said, “We, today, stand on the shoulders of our predecessors who have gone before us. We, as their successors, must catch the torch of freedom and liberty passed on to us by our ancestors. We cannot lose in this battle.”

Lander University will be a part of this battle. Our responsibility to one another requires purposeful dedication and commitment to combating prejudice, fighting oppression, and ending racial violence. Through this important work, we can ensure that our university, our community and our nation move forward, united in our mission to build a better tomorrow.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Richard Cosentino

President