More than 100 college presidents issue joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump; Sewanee leaders ask for campus commitment to EQB

John McCardell

Vice-Chancellor John McCardell is one of 110 college and university presidents urging Donald Trump to take a more forceful stand against "harassment, hate and acts of violence." The campus leaders have issued a joint letter to President-elect Trump.

“I have had the opportunity to talk personally with many of my co-signatories, many of whom share my skepticism about the efficacy of such documents,” McCardell said. “In the end there was agreement that the incidents thus far reported to have occurred, and the anxiety these have produced, warranted the encouragement our letter hopes to provide.”

Read the story in Inside Higher Ed.

McCardell and student leaders also sent a joint letter this week to the University community, asking each member to live out the words of the University motto, taken from Psalm 133:1: "Ecce Quam Bonum Et Quam Iucundum Habitare Fratres In Unum," or "Behold how good and joyful a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

Their full letter:

As citizens, we have been dismayed by events following last week’s election results. As members of the University community, which ever strives to be a place where brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, we recognize that, although we may be at some remove from what is taking place, we are inevitably affected by it. At such a time as this, it is more important than ever for us not simply to state the words of our University motto but to live and to model those words, so that everyone at this University knows that the values we share, and for which this University stands, will not in any way be compromised.

St. Paul writes to the Romans: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.”

In this spirit, and as University leaders, we commit ourselves to living out this admonition. And we urge all members of this community—faculty, staff, students—to consider how you might do the same. Let us make a special effort to greet one another as we pass on campus; to sit with someone we don’t know in McClurg; to engage in the hard task of learning by broadening the limited reach of our own individual understanding and discussing our differences with civility; and thus to make this place, at least, one where liberty and wholesome restraint are kept in balance and the dignity of every human being continues to be respected.

Ecce Quam Bonum,

John M. McCardell, Jr., Vice-Chancellor and President

David Harkins, President, Student Government Association

Mark McAlister, Chair, Honor Council

Molly Payne-Hardin, President, St. Luke’s Community

Sarah Tillman Reeves, President, Order of Gownsmen