A Letter to Our Community

Monday, June 1, 2020

Dear Mercersburg community,

I am writing to you with a heavy heart as we watch our nation’s cities erupt in protests in response to ongoing injustices toward Black Americans, and specifically in reaction to George Floyd’s senseless murder on May 25 in Minneapolis. Amidst an unprecedented world pandemic that has challenged us in ways that are real and deep, we now must also confront the harsh realities of racism that continue to plague our country. 

One of our core values, Lofty Ideals, states that we welcome and accept all in the tradition of our egalitarian spirit, expecting everyone to contribute fully to our community and to the world with imagination, gratitude, and love. Expressing that we accept all is an admirable goal within our school family, and we certainly offer programs and teach in accordance to that value on our campus and with our students. And yet I feel compelled today to make our views clear to our entire Mercersburg community, so there is no doubt where our school stands on these important issues.

As our country pleads for an end to racism and violence against people of color, we at Mercersburg Academy join the chorus of voices by condemning all forms of racism and bigotry. To our students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni of color, I want you to personally hear me say that your Mercersburg community stands with you, we love you, and we will endeavor to take action alongside you as we always seek to represent, in all that we do, the unique culture that is Mercersburg that we commit to promoting, both on and off of our campus.

It hasn’t officially been announced, but our theme for the 2020-2021 school year is “Making a Difference.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we chose this theme back in the fall. I believe we all felt a sense of urgency to model for our students the power they can have to influence, whether that be within the areas of science or humanitarian efforts or issues of social justice, racism, and equity. I am proud of the work our school has done in recent years to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, but we can—and will—do more.  I commit that we will continue to create more dialogue, more opportunities, and more space for our community to learn and come together to elicit the change we need today and in the future.

In closing, I want to say how sorry I am that this is happening in our world today, especially at a time when coming together to manage the pandemic is so critical. But we cannot choose the time to engage in the fight for justice—it has presented itself to us and we must face it together, with faith in each other and in the future, and with a commitment to our Noble Integrity which inspires generosity, authenticity, and responsibility—when no one is looking and when everyone is looking. The world can and must do better and I know that we can, too.

With eternal faith, 

Katie Titus P ’20, ’23
Head of School