Reflecting on Dr. King's Legacy

January 15, 2024

"I have a dream" engraved with the Washington Monument in the distance.

Today we reflect on the indelible imprint Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left on our nation, and on our collective quest for social justice. Dr. King's legacy is an inspiration to continue to pursue the goals of a more just society, practice of civil discourse, embrace of differences, and peaceful disagreement — that the rights of every member of society are equal, and that each deserves to be treated with fairness, kindness and grace.

Those are also the bedrock values upon which Quinnipiac University was built, aspirations toward which we continue to strive. QU’s 2019 strategic plan, the University of the Future, draws on these aspirations throughout. We stated then, as we restate today, that we strive for a community …

”that holds each person accountable for inclusive behavior and encourages courageous action; one that is built on trust, openness and civility and allows for honest conversations about difficult subjects; one that cares for, and helps marginalized members of society; and one that prepares and enlightens for the future of global societies.”

The trajectory of individual lives is changed through education. We are exposed to vastly different lived experiences, we come to understand contrasting world views, we are even jolted into hearing arguments that are an affront to our own values. Yet all of this occurs in a space that encourages and enables civil discourse. While sadly, some segments of society are distancing themselves from such conduct, I hark back to the teachings of Dr. King as guiding principles for the community we aspire to be.

As we navigate the challenges of our time and are witness to tragic inequalities and injustices inflicted on many around the world, let us be guided by the enduring principles espoused by Dr. King. May we draw hope from his teachings, and work tirelessly as agents of positive change to build a future where justice and equality prevail. In the words of Dr. King,

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”

Let us turn his words into action as we celebrate the towering legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Judy Olian, President

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