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4th of July

A Message from President Tim Foster

My fellow Mavericks:

Humanity has long strived and struggled to celebrate the idea of universal human dignity. Events that preceded and followed the signing the Declaration of Independence literally started a new chapter in that age-old quest of people to test the potential for human goodness. This potential was beautifully expressed when the declaration explained that people are created with intrinsic value and dignity, and that all people have a right to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.''

The reality of an ideal is that it’s by definition never fully obtained. We know this is a result of our own limitations. The good news is that an ideal can still be pursued with never ceasing tenacity. Free speech and expression, and equality of opportunity are among those we continuously pursue in Higher Education. That’s what we do at Colorado Mesa University.

On the coming 4th of July holiday, CMU honors the ideals articulated in the Declaration of Independence. The holiday should also serve as a reminder that we are far from achieving our potential when it comes to bringing forth the full spirit of our nation’s founding documents.

The recent events in our country show that inequality of opportunity, bigotry and hate still have a strong but weakening root-hold on the American republic. The political narratives of the day lead millions of people to pick sides on seemingly every issue and too often seemingly reject reason and rationality. This current state of affairs is troubling. However, due to my privilege in serving as your university president, no headlines or events will ever convince me there isn’t more potential good in the world than bad. I know this because I’ve been surrounded by students over the last decade and have seen this goodness for myself.

COVID-19 has rightly captured the narrative of the nation, but has detrimentally exiled almost all other conversation from our collective conscious. If only for a moment, as we enter this holiday weekend, I ask you to reflect on a world that will overcome the pandemic through cooperation and reason. Take a moment and dare to believe in a nation that can this weekend shake the dust off a declaration penned from reason and transcendent ideas that all human beings have equal worth. The founders of the United States faced their own significant personal flaws and insufficiencies to create a republic that was better than the monarchy from which they came.

We can all work to realize a country where the merits of earned character inform how we treat one another and not the color of our skin. We can build communities that remove barriers that limit the potential described by Jefferson. Human freedom has never before existed in the way liberty does today. This reality is cause for hope. Let us reflect on the ideas that justify that hope.

Be safe. Stay physically distant, but close in spirit this holiday and we’ll see you this fall.


Written by Tim Foster