PRESIDENT’S VIEWPOINT | Dr. King’s Dream Today

Each year, as the nation honors the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I re-read his “I Have a Dream” speech, and every time I am struck by the emphasis he places on hope. Dr. King understood that meaningful change would be possible only through intentional, persistent and sometimes difficult action. Yet he also understood the essential nature of hope: that just as hope drives us to take difficult action, action itself can spur hope for change. More than half a century later, Dr. King’s dream of a fully just, inclusive and equitable nation remains elusive. We see this on our own campus, where, shortly before the Thanksgiving break, Nazi swastikas — odious symbols of anti-Semitism and racial hatred — were drawn on whiteboards in residence halls and stamped into the snow.