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Letter from Chancellor Robinson - MLK Day 2018

Dear Ram Family,

On Monday, January 15, Winston-Salem State University will join the nation in celebrating the life and legacy of one of the greatest figures in American history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned a future where all Americans would share in the opportunity to achieve their dreams. This is the same vision Dr. Simon Green Atkins had for this institution. We remain dedicated to this mission, with social justice and a commitment to equity enshrined in our values.

During the winter break, I spent time reflecting on the past and looking ahead toward the future. It is clear to me that the world needs more leaders like Dr. King. His towering heroism and intellectual bravery changed a nation for the better. He challenged us to make America a land of freedom, equality, and opportunity for all. As we approach the 50th anniversary of his assassination, we all must continue to respond to that call as we work toward that beautiful dream.

What we do here at Winston-Salem State University has never been more important. Our imperative is to prepare our students to be change-agents, groundbreakers, and trailblazers. To do that, we must create a stimulating intellectual community that challenges students and lays a foundation for a lifetime of leadership. To do that, we must set an example by demonstrating the kind of respect, compassion, and rigorous thinking that is so needed in this world today.

As Dr. King said in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Those words remain as true today as they were when he put them to paper 55 years ago. His words and his legacy continues to serve as a beacon for me – and, I hope, to you.

However you choose to spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I hope you will take some time to remember Dr. King and to reflect on how each of us and all of us can advance the values he stood for in our own lives and in the communities we share.


Elwood Robinson, Ph.D.


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