A Letter to Our Alumni From Head of School and Board Chair

June 4, 2020
Dear Collegiate Alumni,
The senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, among others, are acts of violence and racism that we condemn. Their lives matter and we grieve their losses. Black Lives Matter. We must confront racism and injustice in our nation, the Greater Richmond region and here in our Collegiate Community.
Collegiate cannot just say we are here to create a diverse and inclusive community of learners. We must live it every day. We must acknowledge the unequal and unfair burden
our black students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni carry with them, every day. We have the responsibility to ensure they feel safe, intrinsically valued, and a vital part of the fabric of Collegiate and our world. We believe these are not aspirational goals — they are indispensable necessities.
Yesterday, members of our community gathered on campus to speak their truths and discuss Collegiate’s response to recent events and how we can move forward. A number of alumni have called on Collegiate to do better in both accepting responsibility for our shortcomings and honoring our mission of true inclusion by advocating for change. We agree.
We have not done enough and for that we are sorry. Our entire community must engage in respectful dialogue and embrace new ways to better serve current and future students, families and our community. We need to acknowledge the privilege that many of us have and use that understanding to ensure all voices are heard and equally valued.
We can and will do better as we move forward. We invite you to be part of our process. Collegiate is hosting town hall meetings for alumni on the Zoom platform. We will listen. Our Head of School will share with you the work we have done and will continue to do. We will identify the additional work we need to do. Below are dates and times when you can register to participate in one or more of these discussions:
      Monday, June 8, 5 p.m. EST
      Tuesday, June 9, 5 p.m. EST
We will continue to convene with students, parents, faculty and staff to gather their input and suggestions to help us chart a course on how we can confront racism in our school and community.
We are hopeful the time will come soon when we can continue this work face-to-face. We remain focused on how we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and safely return to campus this fall. These have been trying times that each member of our community has experienced differently. Through these ordeals, we are growing and learning. We will emerge stronger and better, as a community that will not tolerate any conduct, policy or procedure that fuels discrimination or hate. A better future is a shared goal and we are focused on this goal.
Penny B. Evins, Head of School
John W. Martin '78, Chairman of the Board