A Message from President Terrell on Recent Events in Washington, DC

My journey with community college education began nearly 35 years ago and I am proud to serve at what many call democracy’s colleges. American community colleges are recognized for their open access to higher education for all and providing value and service to both individuals and communities while offering a path to the American Dream. The American Dream was shaped by the courage and resiliency of hard-working people who persevered with blood, sweat, and tears, determined to build a better life.

On January 6, the American Dream was shattered, and our democracy was attacked when a mob violently stormed the United States Capitol. The men and women who attempted to undermine our nation’s symbol of democracy were American extremists. As a nation, we discovered our most dangerous threat comes from within our borders.

Many men and women have died to protect our democracy. Our great democracy allows access to education, new careers, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and so many other opportunities that others across the world desire. We cannot, nor should not, take that for granted. While we may not always agree on everything, as Americans we should all agree that the violence showed at our Capitol was unacceptable and appalling.

Eastern strongly denounces the seditious and violent acts taken in an attempt to undermine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Eastern will not tolerate hate, violence, insurrection, or the spreading of false information. We were created in a democracy to share knowledge and encourage students to become good citizens to lead and work in our communities. Our purpose is to value differences, pursue the truth, respect human dignity, and to honor the virtues of a democratic society.

The American Dream will only remain a reality if we protect and preserve our democracy. We are better and stronger when we work together. Despite all of the challenges, I still believe in the American Dream. Eastern’s faculty, staff, and administrators will continue to work together to sustain one of democracy’s colleges.

Despite our challenges, we can and will persevere. We are Eastern. We are West Virginians. We are Americans.

Dr. Charles Terrell, President