May 29, 2023

What Our ASPIRE Values Require of Us

The following message is from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Hello UMW Family,

I hope that your start to the spring semester has been strong and prosperous. As we have recently ushered in a new year I, like many of you, have been thinking about all of the good things that the previous year had in store for you. For me, this is very easy. I am grateful to have joined our campus community which is grounded in our ASPIRE community values that guide us in our daily lives. To be an Eagle means that we are Accountable for all of our actions. It means that we are always seeking the pursuit of Scholarship. In all that we do, we maintain the highest levels of Personal and Institutional Integrity. We work every day to foster a climate of Inclusive Excellence for everyone. Each one of us takes care to exercise Respect and Civility through our words and actions. And, we are Engaged in the upbuilding of the communities to which we belong.

Our community values are our philosophy as much as it is a call to action. We ASPIRE to do our part to make the world a better, more just, and inclusive place for each other. Now more than ever the time is right to be a beacon of hope in times of despair. Just consider some of the realities that we are facing.

Antisemitic actions, as well as subsequent harmful, hurtful, and unacceptable rhetoric, have been on the rise within our nation. It’s even made its way to an anonymous social media platform within our city. This goes against every principle of our community values and is wrong and reprehensible. Yet I have also learned of ASPIRE values being displayed on this platform through countering words of hate with ones of outrage for such behaviors and support for those impacted. That is what ASPIRE requires us to do in standing up against anything that is to the contrary and in so doing, transforming our world, one action at a time.

As a new year dawns, many of us also set new goals for ourselves. My goal is to support the initiative launched by the Vice President of our Student Government Association, Ms. Jaylyn Long, in celebrating and recommitting ourselves to our values through our first ASPIRE Week occurring April 10th-15th, 2023. In the weeks ahead, we will share more details about how our campus will celebrate each day of the acronym as planned by the members of the ASPIRE Week committee. We look forward to you joining us and hope it becomes an annual tradition.

So as the semester continues, I hope that you will endeavor to continue to uphold our values in all that you do. Our collective action has the power to make our world a better place.


Dr. Shavonne ShorterAssociate Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer