Together, we can Protect Purdue.

Learn More Report a Protect Purdue Pledge Violation

January 19, 2021 Purdue Community

Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D. Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students 

January 19, 2021

Dear Boilermaker,

Welcome to the spring 2021 semester!

Yesterday our nation celebrated the life, legacy, and leadership of Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; a beacon of nonviolent protests. Today, the first day of the spring 2021 semester, we celebrate and recognize you, our students for choosing to further your knowledge and education. Tomorrow, January 20 is the inauguration and presidential oath of office. This ceremony officially launches the term of office of a newly elected president of the United States.

What do these three days have in common? The acknowledgement and ongoing quest for freedom, truth, knowledge and equality. Riots, violence and destruction, regardless of a person’s beliefs, are contrary to democracy and are polar opposite of progress, civility, respect and all things that make citizenship in a free society possible.

Reflecting on recent events, I challenge us all to remain true to our values as a community. We are a community of Boilermakers who embrace diversity, promote inclusion and advance ideals of growth and innovation as both learners and scholars. While we are individually unique with our own identities, together we are Boilermakers. While we each hail from different locations across the world, together we Hail Purdue! While we each think and experience life differently, and are by our very nature different from one another, together we are Purdue! We celebrate those differences and the richness they bring to our University and community at large.

As we continue 2021 striving to achieve our individual and collective goals, may we each remain true to our membership in the Purdue community with a renewed sense of purpose. May our community of Boilermakers address conflict and difference of opinions and viewpoints with respect, civility and care. We wish you every success with this new semester!

Boiler Up! Hammer Down! Hail Purdue!


Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost & Dean of Students
Purdue University
Schleman Hall| Room 207
475 Stadium Mall Drive | West Lafayette, IN  47907
Phone:  765.494.1257| Email:

Purdue University, Office of the Dean of Students, Helen B. Schleman Hall (formerly the Recitation Building), 2nd Floor, 656 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2086, Phone (765) 494-1747, Fax (765) 496-1550

© 2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints |  Maintained by Office of the Dean of Students

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact Office of the Dean of Students at