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January 7, 2021

Dear Olin Community,

Like so many of you, I was shocked and profoundly saddened by the violence at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. A mob, determined to thwart a cherished foundation of our political system—the peaceful transfer of power―succeeded in their goal during the day and well into the evening.

This threat to the rule of law shook our nation to its core. I hope we can all agree that no matter your political affiliation, there is no place in our society or in our elections for violence or attacks on our democratic institutions.

Still, this morning, we can all be heartened that democracy won out in the end. In the early morning hours, the Vice President of the United States officially affirmed the results of the presidential election and reaffirmed the will of the people.

The right to vote is fundamental, yet for historically disenfranchised groups, that right has been hard fought and constantly threatened. Protecting and exercising this right is a cornerstone of democracy, as is a commitment to conducting elections with integrity and counting every vote. These are some of the things that bind us as a people and as a nation.

American higher education thrives in a democracy. Olin, with its commitment to innovation and discovery, reflects democratic ideals based on reason and an optimism about our future. I look forward to beginning a new academic semester with you so we can continue our important work. Best regards,

Sincerely,

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Gilda Barabino