In a message to the Drexel University community on Martin Luther King Day, I reminded everyone that a university is a place where everyone is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential, regardless of background and without distinction to culture, ethnicity or national origin.

There may be no better time to reaffirm this principle than over this holiday honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a leader who fostered a vision of society free of prejudice and barriers to individual fulfillment. As Dr. King believed, it is vital for leaders in all spheres to set a tone of civility and respect for each member of our respective communities, as well as for all citizens of the global community.

Everyone on the Drexel campus — including our international students and scholars — should be reassured that we share this view, that tolerance and acceptance of others from different cultures and civil discourse is a hallmark of our approach to university life. The only way forward for this University, and for the wider society, is to uphold these principles.

Through my interactions with students, faculty and professional staff, I am reminded over and over that we have so much to gain by understanding and appreciating the diverse views and individuality of each person. We are better versions of ourselves when we demonstrate a high regard for people of all backgrounds.

Drexel’s success fully depends on creating an environment in which people can champion, share and test their ideas in an atmosphere of openness, respect and candor. We continue to be challenged to reaffirm an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, and I hope you will join me in supporting these ideals today, and in the future.