Dear Faculty and Staff:

Thank you. Two simple words that are often said from the standpoint of acceptance, resolution or even, in expectation of restitution. Today, as a community, I ask that we collectively articulate our expression of thanks through acts of kindness, particularly during this season of Thanksgiving. Upon reflection, we (Wilberforce) have toiled amidst every challenge, we (Wilberforce) have advanced through every stumbling block, and when faced with difficulty, we (Wilberforce) have endured and continue to exhibit hope for our future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The mission of Wilberforce University is indisputable, prominent and majestic, but its existence is also controversial in its abundance and historical purpose. Our existence sends out a message of pride of our strong heritage; as a beacon of light, being the first, privately owned institution for and by African Americans, for which we are eternally thankful. Our path dictates that we continue to be strategically aligned in our mission of Excellence, Innovation and Kindness, and to be steadfast in our quest for institutional recognition with an intentional focus, through the lens of the ‘Wilberforce Renaissance’. In summary, we declare that Wilberforce University will always be a venerable institution that is part of the legacy of higher education in the United States of America.

On behalf of the Board Chairman, Dr. Mark A. Wilson and Chancellor Bishop MicKinley Young, the Wilberforce University Board of Trustees and the University Administration, we wish you and your family, a heartfelt and joyful Thanksgiving holiday.

Suo Marte,

Herman J. Felton, Jr.

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