August 21, 2017

Dear Boilermakers,

We write today to welcome you to the new academic year — from our newest students in one of the largest, most diverse, and most academically gifted classes in Purdue history, to our equally outstanding upperclassmen, graduate students, staff, and faculty.

Students, we hope you are eager to work hard and to grow intellectually and as leaders. More broadly, we are looking forward to an engaging and rewarding year of learning and discovery. That, we know, is your central purpose in being here, and your University is committed to providing the conditions necessary for your success.

This is also an appropriate time to remind all Boilermakers that ours is a community of respect in which we can all live, learn, work, and grow, and each of you is a valued member of that community. Events of the past week in Charlottesville, Virginia, remind us that there are those who wish to undermine and ultimately destroy the values we espouse at Purdue. Racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and violence like that demonstrated in Charlottesville are the antithesis of those values and have no place on our campus.

At Purdue, we protect and promote the right to free and open inquiry in all matters and guarantee all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. But with this right comes responsibility. As Boilermakers, we must continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard that begins with civility and respect for others.

So, as you begin this new academic year, we encourage you to respect the right of others to express ideas you may passionately disagree with, and to accept the responsibility to speak out vigorously against those whose words run counter to the values we all hold true as Boilermakers — those of respect, support, acceptance, and inclusion.

Best wishes for a successful year ahead.


Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. 

Jay T. Akridge
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity