This past Saturday, almost 100 Wheaton community members came together to represent the college for the first time in the Boston Pride Parade. Those marching represented all segments of this great community – faculty, staff, students, alumnae/i, family members, and friends. Being together at such an exciting event was incredibly fun, but more importantly it was incredibly uplifting to see so many community members stand together to celebrate values that are so important to Wheaton: diversity, unity and dignity.
Unfortunately, the tragic and senseless events this past weekend in Orlando remind us that there are others who do not share these values with us. An attack such as this is an attack on all of us. We owe it to each other to cry out against those who would deny any of us our freedom, our right of expression, and our dignity. Even as such events become all too common, we cannot become jaded or choose to ignore them. We must stand together to express our unity and to become stronger.
I invite you to stop by this afternoon (Monday, June 13) in Cole Chapel at 3:30 p.m. to express your sympathy for the victims and their families, as well as to show your solidarity as we come together to stand together. While I know that many of our community members are not here on campus at this time of year, I invite all of you to be there in spirit. No matter where you are, you know what a special place the Chapel is and how it so often has served as a rallying place and place of healing for our community. Wherever you are, please pause at 3:30 this afternoon to think about those of us on campus gathering in the Chapel. Join us in spirit and remember your connection to this special community. We need you, just as we all need to stand together to support those affected by this tragic event and to prevent things like this from ever happening again.
Our banner from the Pride Parade on Saturday will be publicly displayed on campus today to further show our support for the victims of the Orlando tragedy. I hope it also serves to remind you of the incredible power of acting on our values. #WheatonMApride
Nearly 100 members of the Wheaton College community marched in the Boston Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11.
- President Hanno