Today's Update: Wednesday, January 20

January 20, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, Over past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about how we have truly been living through an historic time. While I would never have selected a front row seat to a global pandemic, it is significant because those who come after us will always wonder about how we lived in this time, and hopefully they may even be in awe of the resilience of the human spirit we demonstrated. 

So today, the feeling of being a part of a significant point in history took on a particularly special meaning. If you had a chance to witness any of today’s Inauguration, see images from the day or peruse some of the social media news and commentary, one thing is clear: Today was a monumental day in our country’s history. 

Today we swore in our nation’s oldest-ever sitting president, and we also heard from the youngest-ever inaugural poet.  

And to me, what is truly monumental is that Vice President Kamala Harris became the first Black person, the first south Asian-American person and the first female to ever serve in this exalted position. Not one, but three “never haves” were shattered in a matter of moments.  

It didn’t really happen in just moments, we all know that. Madam Vice President Harris’s rise to one of the top seats in the nation started decades ago…and maybe even centuries. Lives have been lost, hate has been challenged and some families have been torn apart in the quest for equality…and unfortunately there is a lot more progress that needs to be made.  

But today, I want to focus on the progress that HAS been made. I celebrate, salute and honor Madam Vice President Kamala Harris for all she represents to me as a Black woman, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, to the future of our country and to all the young people out there who can see themselves in and be inspired by her accomplishments. (And I think it’s Scarlet and Great that they’re calling the VP’s husband the “first dude.”) 

Melissa