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Dear Carolina Community,

It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve this great university as the leader of our student body. I would say that I’m the luckiest person on this planet to have been the Student Body President over the past year, but the reality is — luck had nothing to do with it. From day one I have had an amazing team of colleagues, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and family that have supported me and every bold idea I’ve put forward. The Carolina community embraced me — a proud gay, Black man from rural South Carolina — and nurtured me into who I am today and I will forever be indebted to this great place as a result.

Over the past year both the Undergraduate and Graduate & Professional Student Governments have delivered. We have not fallen short on providing student-focused, student-centered, student-driven initiatives for our peers. Whether it was the Distinguished Lectureship on Racial Equity, the Richard Epps Emerging Leaders Program, the Well Ride program, department-level grants for graduate and professional students, securing and allocating 10,000 KN95 masks, and just this past weekend successfully coordinating transporting and lodging 100 students to New Orleans to cheer on the Carolina Men’s Basketball team as they competed in the NCAA Final Four and Championship games; one thing is clear, we have delivered.

But, we must continue to deliver. We must continue to unite around our shared love for the betterment of this great university, continue to show love and grace every chance that we get because our community is truly better for it. This does not mean, however, that we remain silent in the pursuit of a more just and equitable campus. We must remain vigilant and shine a light on every crevice of prejudice, discrimination, and inequity and hold ourselves accountable for these hateful ideals just as we do the administration of this University.

Every day for the rest of your time at Carolina (and beyond!) you should aim to build on our collective strengths and use them to find common ground and solve the world’s most complex issues, one by one. And remember to take care of yourselves, the grade is not always the priority. Take care of your physical and mental well-being and get good rest. The assignment can always wait and if the Professor doesn’t understand that — that says more about them and less about you. The potential of this great community is unmatched and I am leaving this role a much better person than when I started — and this is because of all of you.

Dream big, Tar Heels!


Lamar Richards
100th Student Body President
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This message is sponsored by: Student Government
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