June 2020 First Monday
Dear Friends and Family,
As I write this, looking out over the rolling green hills of the Palouse, a contrast strikes me. Not the contrast of pines, hills, and sky we so love, but the contrast between that serenity and the sadness, chaos, and uncertainty many of our friends, family, and colleagues are living in cities across the country; cities that are home to many of you, many of our students and their families. I have no wisdom for this moment and no life experience that would provide understanding. What I do have is what all of you have, a sacred calling to uphold the rule of law. As I tell new students each fall, there are people in our family who will change the world, who will restore freedom to the oppressed, who will ensure that this country continues to honor its promise to all, to respect the rule of law, to treat all people equally, whatever their origins or beliefs. So even if I cannot offer wisdom, even if I don’t understand another’s life, I can offer support and a renewed commitment to those ideals and my calling as a lawyer.
The uncertainty of the past months, and even more the past week, demonstrates the critical importance of legal training in perpetuating a free, equal, and democratic society. Perhaps more significant, this past week demonstrates the importance of providing the opportunity for legal training to everyone, wherever they might originate, whatever their background.
Today is Vandal Giving Day, our opportunity to pay forward the blessings we have received through education. This year’s 2,020-minute fundraising day gives alumni, donors and friends worldwide the opportunity to come together in support and celebration of our students, ensuring they can continue their education in fall 2020 in light of the unprecedented circumstances following COVID-19. As the events of the past days have made clear, it is vital that we continue to support and empower our future leaders, the architects of tomorrow’s better world. In the spirit of student support, this year we are encouraging gifts to our Scholarship Fund, Excellence Fund, the Legal Aid Clinic and the Native American Law Program. All of these gift funds are focused on and support law students.
Please help support our students. The world needs good lawyers, good leaders, and good people. Thank you for your help in finding and supporting them.
Jerrold A. Long
College of Law