President Donald J. Laackman's Statement on Recent Events in Charlottesville

Champlain College President Donald J. Laackman sent the sent the following statement in an all-campus email on Monday, August 14, 2017.

Dear Colleagues:

Like many of you, I spent much of the weekend following the news from Charlottesville, Virginia.The despicable acts of racism and bigotry committed by those who support white supremacy remind us once again how hatred and violence destroy lives.

I want to reaffirm that Champlain strongly condemns racism, antisemitism and other forms of intolerance in our community and in society at large. We stand firm in our commitment to eradicate hurtful and destructive behavior from our campus. We remain committed to our goal of creating a more diverse and inclusive community.

As we approach a new semester amidst a backdrop of turmoil, exemplified by the events this past weekend, we need to continue to work together to create a positive, inspiring, open learning environment for our students and an empowering, inclusive, and professional workplace for our faculty and staff. The College has a zero tolerance policy against discrimination and harassment of any kind. We have put into place foundational initiatives to address these issues openly on our campus. The efforts have included, but are not limited to, training and education for students, faculty and staff, policy development and implementation, recruitment and enrollment efforts and community partnerships. Yet our work on this front as a community, and as individuals, is never done.

If we wish for our students to become engaged global citizens who pursue knowledge through inquiry, we must role model participation by actively seeking out diverse perspectives and viewpoints. We must continue to condemn acts of intolerance. We must be willing to confront our own assumptions, have courage in the face of hate and seek to understand in the face of ignorance.


Donald J. Laackman
President, Champlain College

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit