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Duke and Men's Lacrosse >> President Richard H. Brodhead's Letter to Students

To the Students of Duke University

The following is a letter sent from President Brodhead to the Students of Duke University.

Dear Colleagues,

We have just lived through a difficult several weeks, and since it appears that issues will not be resolved before you finish up the year, I thought I might say a word as many of you leave for the summer.

Since late March, life has been challenging here in a variety of ways. Questions have been raised that are important to work through but sometimes painful to confront. Members of our community have been thrown under a cloud with little way for us to know what is deserved, what not. The local and national media have created an overwrought atmosphere around the story while intruding powerfully on our daily life. Dukies have been made objects of stereotype and prejudgment by the very world that pretends to deplore such things.

In the middle of this, I have been impressed by the maturity, thoughtfulness, and poise you have shown under pressure. We’re in on the secret that this place is greatly more interesting and varied than current media accounts would suggest. If there are issues to address here, that’s not something distinctive to this place. Such issues are found on every campus in America. If we have them at Duke, let’s face them, together.

In the meantime, as you head off for the world that may not know the truth of Duke, I’d ask three things of you. First, call to mind some of your best Duke experiences: things that have stretched or inspired you as well as delighted you. Second, for those of you who are not yet finishing, take a minute to envision some things you have not yet done here—challenges and opportunities you have not yet faced,  growth you have not yet achieved—and make a resolution to add them to your Duke experiences when you return. And third, feel free to be proud of this place (I am), and to educate people about what Duke is really like.

I congratulate you on the year just completed, and I wish you an excellent summer.

Best wishes,

Richard Brodhead

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