A message from President Janine Davidson, Ph.D.

Sept. 10, 2021

Janine Davidson

Tomorrow marks 20 years since the tragic attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which took so many lives and changed our worlds forever.

We all have our own memories – or for many of our kids and our students who were very young or not even alive at the time, there are vague impressions of what happened that day from stories we tell them over and over. But we all were affected.

Today I am reflecting on those memories, what happened, what I saw, and what it taught me.

I learned how the darkest of the dark parts of humanity can co-exist, and in fact be countered, by the brightest of bright lights.

I have been reminded of the preciousness of life, and the power of the human spirit. We saw this power, this light, in so many places.

  • In the goodbye phone calls of love that came from the twin towers that morning;
  • In the bravery of the firefighters who ran up scores of flights of stairs in the heat and smoke and panic, as people were running down them in the other direction;
  • And in the passengers on Flight 93, whose selfless actions and sacrifices that day saved so many other lives.

We experienced the unity of the American people who came out to give blood and grieve together, and the resilience of our society as we came together to heal and rebuild.

Today, when we are bombarded with reminders of polarization, disunity, and even hate; as we struggle against a vicious virus robbing us of our way of life, we still see these same qualities over and over, pushing back and shining light.

We see it in our doctors and nurses on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in our teachers and professors in the classrooms and on Zoom. And among so many parents getting up every day and helping so many kids and loved ones make it through this storm.

This is the America I know best. This is what gives me hope.


Janine Davidson, Ph.D.
President, MSU Denver