Inauguration Day and the Road Ahead
Dean of Students Shepardson's Email to Students
Every four years on Jan. 20, the United States of America comes together to acknowledge and celebrate the start of the next term of the president of the United States. It’s a day that holds important symbolism for democracy.
Today, we show respect for the Office of the President and the peaceful transition of power that has been the backbone of American governance for more than two centuries. This year’s inauguration is unlike any other, due in part to the recent unrest in the nation’s Capitol and the ongoing pandemic.
The work of the new administration begins at a difficult time for all of us. With the pandemic worsening and the death toll continuing to climb, it is more important than ever that we work together to keep one another safe and strong. Too many over the last year have lost loved ones, struggled due to lost wages and felt the mental strain of isolation from family and friends.
The new administration faces the challenge of reuniting a country in a time of deep division. Important work must continue as we try to create a just, equitable society for all in the midst of social unrest and racial inequality. The challenges will not be easy to overcome. But we must.
I know that this may be an uncertain time for students, and some of you may be feeling confused, sad or stressed. Later today, our community will gather online for an Inauguration Day Vigil to experience this historic event together in the spirit of peace and hope – please check for the email yesterday from Spiritual Life with the time and sign-in details. Whether you choose to join us or not, remember that it is OK to lean on one another for support during this difficult time. Recognize when you may need to unplug from the news or social media for your own mental well-being. And always feel free to ask for help from a Bentley staff or faculty member. Know that we are here for you.
We all have different perspectives, but that shouldn’t keep us from supporting each other. Because at the end of the day, we are one Bentley community, made stronger by our differences. I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish together this spring.