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A Reaffirmation of Our Shared Values in this Time of Collective Grief and Soul Searching

Written by Lee Anne Hanke

Webber International University and its branch campus St. Andrews University value the diversity of our student body, faculty, and staff, and we stand with you as one in the wake of the reprehensible, tragic death of George Floyd.  Webber International University and St. Andrews University were each established to serve historically under-served populations.  Since 1896, we have provided both educational and employment opportunities without respect to race or any other demographic characteristic.  These are not new values to us.  These are values held at the very core of our institutional philosophy. 

At this time, we explicitly reaffirm these values.  Our commitment to our students, faculty, staff, and the communities we serve reflects our core values of embracing and promoting diversity, and of empowering our students through education. 

These values are so fundamentally ingrained within our university community that initially, I hesitated in making a public statement to which I also personally ascribe: we have no tolerance for racism and we stand with and value the lives of our community members of color. 

While my question “what decent person doesn’t believe these things?” was sincere, it has become apparent to me that not making an explicit statement may be construed as our tolerating racism or being ignorant of and/or unconcerned about the pain of our community, neither of which could be further from the truth.  As we move forward, we realize that the schisms in our society have become even more pronounced, creating even more need for an emphasis on embracing diversity and promoting healing on our campuses and in our communities. 


To our students, our faculty, our staff, and our communities, we bid peace, health, and safety. 


Keith Wade, President & CEO