All Are Welcome Here

All are welcome at Winona State University

Dear Colleagues,

As we settle into the spring semester, and as we reflect on the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. toward building a more inclusive American society, let’s make one thing clear:

All are welcome at Winona State University.

Haitians and Haitian-Americans are welcome.

Africans and African-Americans are welcome.

Norwegian and Norwegian-Americans are welcome, too.

All are welcome: the Dakota and Lakota whose land this is, the Ojibwe, the Hochunk, the Potawatame, and all the indigenous peoples of the world.

Canadians and Mexicans are welcome. So are Europeans and European-Americans, Asians and Asian-Americans, Australians and Pacific Islanders, Central and South Americans.

All are welcome: male or female, straight or gay, trans or cis, young or old, disabled or abled.

All are welcome: Hindus, Zoroastrians, Jews, Jains, Confucians, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Deists, Baha’i, Scientologists, Agnostics, and Atheists.

All are welcome: Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians and Socialists, ideologues and independents, Conservatives and Liberals, Voters and Non-Voters.

All are welcome at Winona State University.

Our university’s symbol is a torch shaped like the letter “W.” The torch’s flame lights our way. Our nation is also led by a flame, held aloft by Liberty. Thanks to the words of Emma Lazarus, Liberty herself tells us what we must do:

Here at our gates we stand with a torch,
whose flame is the imprisoned lightning,
and our name is Mother of Exiles.
And from our beacon-hand glows world-wide:


Sincerely yours,

Scott R. Olson

Student Produced #YouAreWelcomeHere Video

Diversity makes our community richer in so many ways. Students from different countries, cultures and backgrounds share how they have been welcomed at Winona State University.

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Dr. Scott R. Olson was appointed the 15th president of Winona State University on May 16, 2012. He has published two books, 30 book chapters and 22 journal articles in publications in the United States, Canada, China, Korea, Poland, Russia, and India. He has delivered over 100 papers at conferences in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Taiwan and the United States. Through a $20 million gift from the Lilly Endowment he was able to create the Global Media Network (which won a national award from the American Council on Education) and the Center for Media Design.

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