On the Death of Nelson Mandela

December 9, 2013

Members of the Rutgers Community:

Like the rest of the world, the Rutgers community has spent the past several days reflecting on the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

The Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Jr., former Rutgers Board of Governors chair, captured that legacy well in a recent column when he wrote about Mr. Mandela’s “half-century of willing self-sacrifice for the sake of a free, non-racial nation where all of its citizens could participate in shaping its destiny.” Indeed, Mr. Mandela’s courage in standing against racist policies despite the severe personal consequences, and his later actions to unite the South African people during his presidency, have been an inspiration to countless millions around the world.

I have learned that a Tribute to Nelson Mandela will take place at the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue in New Brunswick on Tuesday, December 10 at 4:30 pm, and I am sure there will be others in the coming months. In addition to such tributes, we at Rutgers can honor Mr. Mandela by reaffirming our commitment to justice and fairness for all people and to combating prejudice in all its forms. 

While the world has lost a great leader of vision, courage, and humanity, we take comfort in knowing that his remarkable legacy will live on.


Bob Barchi