President Karen Lawrence Signs Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump

Sarah Lawrence College president Karen Lawrence joined more than 100 presidents and chancellors from colleges and universities around the nation in signing an open letter to President-Elect Donald Trump. The text of the letter is below, and also appears in an article in Inside Higher Education.


November 18, 2016

Dear President-elect Trump,

As do you, we “seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.” In order to maintain the trust required for such productive engagement, it is essential that we immediately reaffirm the core values of our democratic nation: human decency, equal rights, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination. As college and university presidents, we commit ourselves to promoting these values on our campuses and in our communities, and we stand alongside the business, nonprofit, religious, and civic leaders who are doing the same in organizations large and small.

In light of your pledge to be “President for all Americans,” we urge you to condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate, and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name, which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office. In our schools, on job sites and college campuses, on public streets and in coffee shops, members of our communities, our children, our families, our neighbors, our students, and our employees are facing very real threats, and are frightened.

One of the roles of leaders is to protect and empower the most vulnerable. As President-elect, this responsibility rests heavily on you. Let this be a mark of your leadership.

Raymond E. Crossman, President—Adler University

Mauri Ditzler, President—Albion College

Mark Zupan, President—Alfred University

Jeff Abernathy, President—Alma College

Biddy Martin, President—Amherst College

William R. Groves, Chancellor—Antioch University

John M Sullivan, President—Art Academy of Cincinnati

Paul C. Pribbenow, President—Augsburg College

Steven Bahls, President—Augustana College

Marjorie Hass, President—Austin College

Leon Botstein, President—Bard College

Mac Powell, President—Bastyr University

Scott Bierman, President—Beloit College

Mariko Silver, President—Bennington College

David C. Joyce, President—Brevard College

Kimberly Wright Cassidy, President—Bryn Mawr College

Nancy Blattner, President—Caldwell University

Donald J. Laackman, President—Champlain College

Frank G. Pogue, Interim President—Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

David McInally, President—Coe College

Brian W. Casey, President—Colgate University

Helen J. Streubert, President—College of Saint Elizabeth

Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President—College of the Holy Cross

Jonathan Brand, President—Cornell College 

Jann Weitzel, President—Cottey College

Carol Quillen, President—Davidson College

Mark McCoy, President—DePauw University

Walter M. Kimbrough, President—Dillard University

MaryAnn Baenninger, President—Drew University

Donald Eastman, President—Eckerd College

Carl J Strikwerda, President—Elizabethtown College

Jake B. Schrum, President—Emory & Henry College

James A. Anderson, Chancellor & Professor of Psychology—Fayetteville State University

J. Michael Pressimone, President—Fontbonne University

Daniel Porterfield, President—Franklin & Marshall College

Elizabeth Davis, President—Furman University

Janet Morgan Riggs, President—Gettysburg College

Robert Kenny, President—Goddard College

Mark Scheinberg, President—Goodwin College

Jose Antonio Bowen, President—Goucher College

Raynard S. Kington, President—Grinnell College

Jane K. Fernandes, President—Guilford College

Rebecca M. Bergman, President—Gustavus Adolphus College

John J. "Ski" Sygielski, President—HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College

Margaret L. Drugovich, President—Hartwick College

Kimberly Benston, President—Haverford College

Lori Varlotta, President—Hiram College

Mark D. Gearan, President—Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Andrea Chapdelaine, President—Hood College

Shirley A. Mullen, President—Houghton College

Lisa A. Rossbacher, President—Humboldt State University

Alison Byerly, President—Lafayette College

Dan McAlexander, President—LaGrange College

Michael B. Alexander, President—Lasell College

Mark Burstein, President—Lawrence University

Barry Glassner, President—Lewis & Clark College

Richard Green, President—Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

Brian F. Linnane, S.J., President—Loyola University Maryland

Kenneth R. Garren, President—Lynchburg College

Brian Rosenberg, President—Macalester College

Stuart Kestenbaum, President—Maine College of Art

James Gandre, President—Manhattan School of Music

Kevin F. F. Quigley, President—Marlboro College

Kerry Walk, President—Marymount Manhattan College

Laurie Patton, President—Middlebury College

Bryon Grigsby, President—Moravian College

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., President—Morehouse College

David Wilson, President—Morgan State University

Stanley J. Pritchett, Sr., President—Morris Brown College

Sonya Stephens, Acting President—Mount Holyoke College

Timothy E. Trainor, President—Mount St. Mary's University

John I. Williams, Jr., President—Muhlenberg College

Kent Devereaux, President—New Hampshire Institute of Art

Richard Helldobler, Interim President—Northeastern Illinois University

Lawrence Schall, President—Oglethorpe University

David W. Oxtoby, President—Pomona College

Debbie Sydow, President—Richard Bland College

Allan Cahoon, President and Vice Chancellor—Royal Roads University

Rachel Schreiber, Interim President—San Francisco Art Institute

Karen R. Lawrence, President—Sarah Lawrence College

Tracy Fitzsimmons, President—Shenandoah University

Susan E. Henking, President—Shimer College

Peg Albert, President—Siena Heights University

Joe Bertolino, President—Southern Connecticut State University

David Rees Evans, President—Southern Vermont College

Edward B. Burger, President—Southwestern University

John A. Pieper, President—St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Kevin J. Manning, President—Stevenson University

Valerie Smith, President—Swarthmore College

Susan C. Scrimshaw, President—The Sage Colleges

John M. McCardell, Jr., Vice-Chancellor and President—The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee

Joanne Berger-Sweeney, President—Trinity College (Hartford)

Stephen C. Ainlay, President—Union College

Thomas W. Keefe, President—University of Dallas

Quint Thurman, President—University of the Southwest

Jonathan Chenette, President—Vassar College

Thomas Christopher Greene, President—Vermont College of Fine Arts

Scott D. Miller, President—Virginia Wesleyan College

Tori Haring-Smith, President—Washington & Jefferson College

Weymouth Spence, President—Washington Adventist University

Joseph Kline, President—Watkins College

Jonathan Gibralter, President—Wells College

Michael S. Roth, President—Wesleyan University

Dennis Hanno, President—Wheaton College (Massachusetts)

David J. Chard, President—Wheelock College

Sharon Herzberger, President—Whittier College

Stephen E. Thorsett, President—Willamette University

Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, President—William Jewell College

Adam Falk, President—Williams College

Barbara K. Mistick, President—Wilson College


About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.