Office of the President

Wilson Hall, Suite 4000
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)

Presidential Message

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Dear friends,

I must write you today to share my grief, disgust and sadness over the events of these past days. During a time when we had hoped that the nation was coming together over our shared struggle with the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis, we have been torn apart by clear evidence that racism, racial disparities and social injustice are still alive and raging in America.

The brutal killings of George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, coupled with the blatant act of racism against Christian Cooper in New York City, all point to the fact that we have far to go before we become an inclusive, progressive nation where there is “liberty and justice for all."

This is further magnified by the fact that the COVID-19 crisis has taken a disproportionate toll on African Americans and Latinos. More minorities have become sick with the disease; more have died and more have lost their employment than other Americans. All of this further points to the racial disparities and social inequities that exist in our society.

And, yet, I must remain optimistic about our future because when I look in the eyes of our students, I do see rays of hope. Through exposing our students to diversity – diversity of race, religion, geography, socioeconomic status and thought, I believe we can work toward creating a society in which racial justice will exist.

This is an imperative ... for us at Oakland University, encouraging and supporting the values of diversity, equity and inclusion in our next generation is at the heart and soul of who we are.

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D.