Dear Marietta College Family,

Marietta College joins our nation on this Memorial Day weekend in honoring the women and men in the Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the United States and our freedoms as American citizens. As we reflect upon those we honor, we must also acknowledge that as individuals of this great nation that we have a never-ending bond with our service members.

Each year, as Memorial Day weekend approaches, I always take some time to read what other leaders have said about the brave men and women who gave their life in the name of freedom. This year, I turn to our 41st President, George H. W. Bush, who said. “Each of the patriots whom we remember on this day was first a beloved son or daughter, a brother or sister, or a spouse, friend or neighbor.”

At a time when our nation has been shaken by the impact of COVID-19, our resolve has never wavered. In times of peril, the American spirit truly shines.

Take a moment to contemplate and consider the ultimate sacrifice that more than 1 million American women and men gave to our great country serving in the military. It is a humbling reminder of the steep price we have paid for our freedom — something we should never take for granted.

No matter where you are on Memorial Day, please pause and pay tribute to all of the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who died in the service of our country, and whose sacrifice protected our freedoms as Americans.

These women and men are why we live in the greatest country on earth, and why a place like Marietta College can exist and thrive — even when as individuals we don’t always agree on what is happening in our country and around the world. I encourage you to respectfully debate each other and passionately agree and disagree – but enjoy the debate. It is the beauty of living in a free nation, and one that ensures our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management