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Message from President Eric F. Spina about events in Washington, D.C., Jan. 6

I write to you with great sadness regarding the shocking insurrection at the U.S. Capitol yesterday and the brazen attempt to undermine our democracy. There is simply no place for this kind of lawless behavior, and for those who incite it, in the United States of America and I condemn it, personally, in the strongest way possible. 

I ask you to join me in prayer for national unity and an end to such violence. I pray as well for the safety of the elected officials and staff members of both parties who were terrorized by this lawlessness, and the law enforcement officers who protected them. I pray our leaders continue to find the courage and determination to do the work we all need them to do — to come together to find common ground and work together for the benefit of all Americans in these perilous times. 

While we look to our elected officials for leadership, as a Catholic, Marianist university, we must also be mindful of the expectations that have long been set for our own campus community. We must continue to be open to dialogue and hearing other points of view, but at the same time, we must not tolerate unlawful, disrespectful, or violent behavior. We must build up our community and our country by looking forward — together.

In order for our nation to begin healing, communities like the University of Dayton must model respectful dialogue and the honest pursuit of common ground rooted in the common good. As an educational institution “pro deo et patria,” we have a responsibility to demonstrate these skills and values so essential to democracy. It is also imperative that we educate today’s and tomorrow’s students to be civically minded leaders who will advocate for and rebuild our democracy.

I call on all of the leaders of our campus community —  faculty, staff, administrators, and especially students — to bring their very best to all of our interactions as we seek to make meaning about recent events and come together to chart our path forward. 

May God bless our University community and may God bless the United States of America. 

Eric F. Spina


News and Communications Staff