After a blustery and snowy winter, we are finally witnessing signs of spring and rebirth on our campus, complete with early flowers and—soon—our cherry blossoms, accenting our academic semester as it moves toward its completion.
And as we journey through this Lenten season and Holy Week, towards Easter, we are reminded of the hope that lies at the heart of our identity as ‘resurrection people.’ We are continuing to bear witness to the suffering of so many in our human family, and the pervasive injustices that so many face. In recent weeks, we have continued to witness the violent outcomes of hatred, mourning the loss of eight lives in Atlanta, Ga., and 10 more in Boulder, Colo. Even in the face of such grave disregard for human life, hope allows us to commit and recommit to a better world.
It is fair to say that this past year has carried with it many threats to hope, as despair threatened to engulf us from every direction. And yet, we persisted and, through that persistence, we have continued to witness hope’s early buds and blossoms, even in the midst of this winter’s snow and chill.
Colleagues, we have served our students, and one another, at every turn, supporting this community in deeper ways through this pandemic, perhaps, than ever before. And, students, you have faced strain in your families related to the pandemic, in your communities and you have been forced to grapple with modified ways of learning that have not been easy. I have been inspired by all of you, colleagues and students, for your commitment to persisting through these times and for your refusal to abandon hope.
As we approach the most sacred days in the Christian calendar, it is my hope that we might pause, reflect, and fully enter into the joy of Easter. May we take this time with those most dear to us to recognize all that has been accomplished over this past year, to celebrate the memories of those who have left us, and to recommit fully to our Lasallian mission of ‘bending the arc’ towards justice, in all of its forms.
I extend warmest Easter greetings to Explorers everywhere—including our students, colleagues, Christian Brothers, alumni, and Board of Trustees. I also ask for God’s blessings on our Jewish sisters and brothers as they continue to celebrate Passover through the coming weekend. May these days ahead remind us that hope springs eternal, whatever we have endured.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D.