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Welcome to Module 3

A message from President Suzanne Rivera

Dear Macalester community,

Welcome to the start of Module 3, whether you’re on campus, off campus but here in St. Paul, or learning remotely from farther away! I trust that you each found some time to rest and recharge over the winter break.

Despite the many challenges we still face, I am encouraged by the excitement of fresh beginnings as our campus reopens for the spring semester, and as our country turns a page with new leadership.  

There were many remarkable aspects of yesterday’s inauguration ceremonies. History was made when Kamala Harris took office as our country’s first woman—and woman of color—Vice President. She was sworn in by Sonia Sotomayor, the nation’s first Latina Supreme Court Justice. President Biden talked with passion about about the need to defeat white supremacy, protect the environment, and dissent peaceably when we disagree. We heard Jennifer Lopez recite the end of the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish. And we were enthralled by the deeply moving words of our magnificent National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman: “There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it—if only we’re brave enough to be it.”

Then, last night, we learned that executive orders already have been signed that address numerous issues of great concern to the Mac Family, including ending the so-called “Muslim ban,” protecting Dreamers, rejoining the Paris climate accord, and reinforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require that the federal government does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

I hope every member of this community, regardless of political party, is energized by the opportunities to advance justice and peace and can begin the semester inspired to think deeply about the kind of world we want to see and what it will take for us to build it—bravely—together.

Finally, I want to express gratitude. Thank you to the staff and faculty who have worked so hard to prepare for Module 3. Thank you to the students who have shown flexibility and patience as we have had to make adjustments to the campus calendar. And thanks to all of you for the steps you are taking to keep yourselves, your family and friends, and your community safer, as we all participate in a quiet period through February 1.

January 21, 2021