Dear members of the Duquesne University community,

I am shocked and saddened by the events that took place at the United States Capitol yesterday. As someone who has studied and taught about the U.S. Constitution and American government for most of my life, it is incomprehensible to me that violence and lawlessness can ever be viewed as an appropriate substitute for following our legitimate democratic processes.

A short time ago, we hosted a University-wide program at Duquesne on the vital importance of civil discourse, even in the most contentious political environments. Yesterday's events in Washington reflected the antithesis of that civility. Indeed, they were a threat to our very system of the rule of law. Fortunately, members of the Congress returned to their chamber last night and, in spite of the threat of disruption by a mob, persevered and completed the constitutional duties they swore to undertake: certifying a new President and Vice President of the United States.

In the days and weeks ahead, I urge you to redouble your efforts to display compassion, respect and good citizenship-qualities that have always defined our community at Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit. Difficult times like these demand that we remain steadfast in our efforts to care for one another, our fellow human beings, and our cherished form of American democracy.

We will continue to pray for healing, wisdom and compassion with respect to all of our elected officials. We will also strive to set a model, ourselves, for that highest standard of behavior. And, as we have done throughout other trying periods in our nation, we will make it a priority to educate our students to be future leaders in society, so that these tragic events never repeat themselves and become a relic of history.

Warm regards,

Ken Gormley


Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The Universitys academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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January 07, 2021