To New and Continuing Students of Pitzer College:

Welcome to an exciting new year of discovery and growth at Pitzer. Our campus is alive with the hopes and aspirations of new and returning students, faculty, staff and visiting parents. I encourage each of us to embrace this extraordinary opportunity and come together in search of learning in a spirit of generosity and shared commitment. This College with its community of scholars is a learning laboratory and developer of future leaders unlike any other college in America.

More than ever, the United States needs future leaders who can inspire and realize a better world for all. While white supremacists strive to erase decades of American social, economic and political progress, Pitzer’s community continues the struggle for social and economic justice through our rigorous pursuit of knowledge, our socially responsible engagement, and our efforts to create an environmentally sustainable world.

In today’s political climate, Pitzer students are heartened by our core and community values. Together, we speak up to condemn the virulent racist and anti-Semitic chants voiced in Charlottesville. We present a historically accurate account of how race has been used to oppress marginalized communities and divide us politically. We dedicate ourselves to heal the wounds that the unleashing of racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric and policies has caused. And we recommit ourselves to considering diverse points of view to develop futures that move us toward social, economic and racial justice.

As we begin the new academic year, I urge you to respect our individual differences and explore new ways forward. I challenge you to facilitate your intellectual, social and ethical growth to become the leaders that this country needs. Whether that be through your cutting-edge scholarship, your work through our Community Engagement Center, Student Senate, or the many other clubs and organizations you can join at Pitzer and the Claremont Colleges. I look forward eagerly to meet each of you. Have a wonderful, transformative and fulfilling year ahead.

Melvin L. Oliver