This is a pivotal moment in the history of our great nation. Last week's presidential election magnified a broad range of opinions, beliefs and convictions. Some saw the result they sought. Others were left with concern, disappointment and even fear.
Today, the only path for our nation lies ahead of us and in our ability and willingness to shape the future.
I believe wholeheartedly in the voting rights of each and every American citizen. In my lifetime, I have joined friends and family in advocating for this right. When Mrs. Ross was 13 years old, her family bravely provided respite on the third stop of the voters' rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
I have lived through the administration of presidents and other elected officials whom I have agreed with, and those with whom I have not. I have worked beside those whose political views match mine, and also beside those whose views are different. This is part of the American experience. It's part of our nation's diversity.
I believe in freedom of speech and am proud that CMU students, faculty and staff are engaging in conversations and peaceful demonstrations like the one planned tomorrow.
As we move forward, I urge us to remember that at CMU, we advocate for and unequivocally support differences such as race, religion, ability, gender and sexual orientation. So, too, must we respect the rights of others to have different political views.
I urge all of us to be beacons of peace, respect, inclusivity and civility. To be role models of integrity, dignity and leadership.
At Central Michigan University, we stand up against hate, protect the safety of all and build bridges of understanding that bring people together.
President George E. Ross