The following statement was sent to Randolph-Macon College faculty, staff and students on February 1, 2017.
Dear Randolph-Macon College Students,
Randolph-Macon College is proud of the vibrant sense of community that has defined us since our founding in 1830. Now in our 187th year, the College is larger and more diverse than at any time in history, with 1446 remarkable students from 25 states, 24 countries, and practically every walk of life and background. Your superb faculty's accomplished teaching and research literally spans the world on countless fronts. Randolph-Macon College is enriched and inspired by the perspectives and contributions of our truly global community.
My wife, Cheryl, and I appreciated this fact even more when we were privileged to travel recently with the J-Term classes of Professors Bell and Doering in Japan. And learning more about the exceptional service there of our late alumna, Taylor Anderson '08, made us even prouder and more aware of the special responsibility we all have to this place – and to each other.
I know that many of you are justifiably concerned about the recent Presidential Executive Order that impacts entry into the United States by refugees and immigrants from seven countries in Africa and the Middle East. This enormous uncertainty has been intensified by the inept and confusing implementation of the Executive Order, and it remains unclear how the critical legal and political issues surrounding the Executive Order will be settled in the weeks ahead.
While we believe there are no current students enrolled at Randolph-Macon from any of the seven countries listed in the Executive Order, we honor our core traditions of global education and participation through study abroad experiences, research and scholarship around the world, and our robust welcoming of international students and faculty alike.
At the heart of our distinguished heritage as a college is the support and care we have for all of our students, including those students who were not born in the United States and are potentially threatened by their immigration status. I have just returned from Washington, D.C. where I met with four of our federally elected officials from Virginia – representing both parties – to express my deep concern about political actions that will surely cause upheaval to the lives of these students and impact directly their ability to continue their education at R-MC or elsewhere. I encouraged their support of the bipartisan BRIDGE Act, described here: Durbin and Graham.
Please know that Randolph-Macon College is strongly committed to supporting affected members of our community, and I encourage you to contact me if you have specific challenges or concerns.
What makes us the special institution that we are has been recently affirmed by our faculty and Board of Trustees in our College Mission Statement: A Randolph-Macon College liberal arts education develops the mind and character of each student. I am proud to be a part of an institution that values and supports the intrinsic worth of each person's contribution to our College. And thus it will remain.
Thank you all for being such important members of our Randolph-Macon College community.
Robert R. Lindgren
cc: All R-MC Faculty and Staff members