Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Later today, America will once again observe a unique and significant political tradition.

The inauguration of the president of the United States marks the commencement of a new four-year presidential term. This quadrennial ceremony aptly displays that our remarkable and diverse country is simultaneously a representative democracy and a republic. America is a representative democracy because people hold the ultimate power. America is a republic because we are ruled by law and not by tyranny.

No matter your party allegiance, I hope you will peacefully greet today’s transition with optimism, respect for others, and with the resolve to meet our many national, state, and local challenges in a spirit of community.

Please also take a moment today to reflect on our core values—Learning and Scholarship, Diversity and Inclusion, Respect, Collaboration, Individualized Attention, Civic Engagement, and Integrity.

No matter what tomorrow may bring, our values remain the guiding ideals that bring us together and keep us together.


Larry H. Dietz