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Dear members of the Olin community, 

Yesterday marked the end of the most contentious and divisive presidential campaign in our lifetime. And Americans woke up this morning to the unsettling news that we do not yet know the winner of the US presidential race. For many, this is confusing and difficult to accept. But here we are. 

As of this writing, here is what we do know. It is estimated that close to 160 million Americans cast their ballots. If the estimates hold, that will mean a turnout rate of 67 percent of eligible voters—the highest percentage in more than a century.   

We also know this was an election cycle like no other—deeply polarizing and divisive. We know we are living through a deadly pandemic that, as we are also acutely aware, currently is bringing a crushing second wave of cases. Making all this much harder to grapple with is that we continue to suffer through a period when we are physically unable to connect with friends and family in ways that would alleviate our anxieties and enrich our lives. In short, this morning feels like yet one more emotional hurdle that 2020 has put before us all. 

But over this past, painful year, we have not given up—not as families, not as a college community and not as a nation. I know we will not give up now. 

Olin can be rightly proud of the values that distinguish us as an academic community. We believe in and demonstrate inclusion, respect and tolerance for individuals and ideas. Olin is a place where hard work, compassion for others and resilience in facing challenges—whether in the classroom or in the global community—are hallmarks of who we are. As engineers, we rely on a shared commitment to facts to find solutions to seemingly intractable problems. These values will serve us well in the coming days and months. 

For those of you who feel a need for community at this time, we are ensuring that appropriate outlets will be available to you. An email with resources and information will be shared with you shortly. 

It is my hope, for you and for the nation, that clarity followed by unity will come in the very near future.

Warmly,

Gilda