Dear Marietta College Community,

It has been less than 24 hours since we learned that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges related to the death of George Floyd, who was killed in May 2020. While each of us may be affected differently by the verdict and everything that led up to it and everything that will follow, for some who may have been targeted personally, the impact will be profound and profound for the rest of us.

While the U.S. justice system has not always led to a fair outcome for People of Color, yesterday we got to see it function the way it was designed to work. I believe this verdict is a positive step forward and it shows the world that the system can work — and that through a fair legal proceeding, the facts will lead to a just outcome.

Unfortunately, we have had to endure more killings of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and these regular occurrences are maddening. All of us should be able to reside on campus, in our neighborhoods, and in our community without the fear of being harmed because of racism.

It is important that the momentum started by yesterday’s verdict cannot and should not stop here. It is essential that we learn from this moment and that we be persistent in creating a future that includes all of us. I vow that Marietta College, under the direction of our campus’ Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will be a positive voice of change.

We will continue the important work of educating ourselves and others about the roots of racial injustice and its pervasive and persistent impact on African Americans and all communities of Color in the United States. We will also continue to systematically examine and assess the experiences of our students and employees from these communities, and to take actions that address any disparities we identify. We are fully committed to ensuring the best possible educational experience for every student, and I urge each and every one of you to join us in making that happen.

Students are encouraged to seek support from their networks on campus, including Tony Mayle, Acting Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion ( or 740.376.3287) and the Center for Health and Wellness ( or 740.376.4477). Employees are encouraged to engage with us by contacting Tony Mayle or by reaching out to Human Resources ( Alumni and friends of Marietta College are encouraged to contact the Office of Alumni Relations (

It is important that we take a moment to pray for the family of George Floyd, and for all other victims of violence.

I am appreciative of every member of Marietta College’s community who is advocating for justice, and I encourage all of us to support everyone in our amazing community.


Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management