Dean’s Welcome for Spring 2020

It definitely doesn’t feel like “Spring 2020” to me this morning! Even so, I welcome the technical label because it signals a fresh start and an opportunity for us to come together (again) and learn!

This past weekend we honored the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. The University held service events yesterday, and there are a number of other events going on this week, including a lecture by Anita Hill on ending sexual harassment.

Stanford MLK Institute Landing Page

Most of us in the US grew up listening to Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream<" speech. Even so, it feels new and powerful every time I hear it. More recently, in my teaching, I've been referencing his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." You can read the typed original here (and listen to the audio with the prior link), both from archives at Stanford University.

We are living in times with a lot of disagreement and fear, as well as excitement and joy. These emotions are not unique in our country’s history by any means, but it can be scary. A key theme of King’s is worth remembering as you settle into this semester’s classes amid the roar of political drama — impeachment, caucuses, and US-Iran tensions.

King preached love. In fact, he was quoted as saying, “Love is the only way.” So as you settle in and get to work, when you hit a moment of frustration, I urge you to slow down and connect to those around you. Find ways to help others, and let them help you. There is a great deal of love in this community and I hope you will find ways to be part of it. If you want any guidance on how and where to connect, let me or your advisor know. We love being part of this community, and helping others.

And my final words of advice as we kick off the semester — stay warm, stay hydrated, and get to class! Go Hawks!


Kenneth Brown

Brown, Kenneth G - Associate Dean