President Julie Sullivan shared the following in an email to St. Thomas students, faculty and staff.
We are pleased to inform you that Indigenous Peoples Day and Juneteenth will be added to the list of official University of St. Thomas holidays and observed as such.
By adding these holidays to our university calendar, we acknowledge the centuries of colonization, slavery, and assimilation faced by Indigenous and African American communities in the United States as well as celebrate their immeasurable contributions and resilience. Recognizing these two days reflects our commitment to the continued work ahead around honoring history, truth, and reconciliation and supporting our diverse communities across campus.
A review to improve upon an inclusive holiday schedule at St. Thomas was prompted by the designation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday in 2021. This action of adding Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples Day to our university calendar received consultation by the Faculty Senate and both the Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Committees as well as the President’s Cabinet. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee called the addition of these holidays, “…important for advancing St. Thomas’ convictions of the pursuit of truth, diversity, and dignity.”
With the appropriate consultation now completed, we are pleased to move forward in implementing these changes to our academic calendar. You will see changes to our websites in the coming weeks, and guidance will be forthcoming for academic programs that may need to adjust their course schedules.
Thank you to all who have worked on this important initiative which helps align our mission with our day-to-day observances and activities as well as reaffirm our commitment to a more just and inclusive society.
Julie Sullivan, President
Kha Yang, Associate Vice President of Inclusive Excellence