Campus Communications

A Message From President Murray on Juneteenth




From time to time, I write to students, faculty, and staff to note holidays that are of particular importance to members of our community.  Juneteenth is one such day I believe is important to highlight, especially today, as it becomes the nation’s newest federal holiday.  In light of its significance in American life, the College will be closed tomorrow in observance.

Juneteenth is an annual celebration recognizing the end of slavery in the United States.  On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger brought news of the end of the Civil War to Galveston, Texas.  In this way, enslaved African Americans there learned of their freedom for the first time, even though President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years earlier.  Texas was the last state in the Confederacy to receive news that the war was over and that slavery had been abolished.  The African American community often celebrates Juneteenth with family gatherings, barbecues, parades, festivals, and beauty contests.  It is an important commemoration, as well as an opportunity to reflect on this dark chapter in US history and consider what our country can do to more fully live up to its ideals. 

I hope everyone has an enjoyable long weekend and a great summer.

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