Dear Dr. Gay,
We are writing to express our deepest admiration and support for you in the wake of your recent resignation from Harvard University. As the first Black president of this esteemed institution, you shattered glass ceilings and inspired countless individuals across the nation. Your leadership and vision were an undeniable force for good, and your commitment to excellence served as a beacon of hope for so many.
The relentless attacks you faced from right-wing media and politicians were not only reprehensible but also demonstrably false. The accusations of plagiarism were baseless and politically motivated, yet Harvard's response was, in my view, woefully inadequate. They failed to defend you with the vigor and clarity your position demanded, leaving you to navigate a gauntlet of unfounded criticism with insufficient institutional support.
Your resignation is a profound loss, not just for Harvard University, but for the entire academic community and beyond. You represented a beacon of progress and possibility, and your departure leaves a void that will be difficult to fill. However, we urge you to find solace in the knowledge that your accomplishments will continue to inspire generations to come. You have shown us all that it is possible to overcome adversity and achieve greatness, and your legacy will undoubtedly endure.
In the days and weeks ahead, we know you will be bombarded with well-deserved accolades and expressions of support. Please know that our voices join the chorus in celebrating your remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment to excellence. You are an inspiration to us all, and we have no doubt that you will continue to make a positive impact on the world in the years to come.
With deepest respect and admiration,
Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, Director, Education Innovation and Research
Dr. Phelton Moss, Education Innovation Fellow
Dr. Ashley L. White, Education Fellow for Equity, Access, and Opportunity