Statement regarding recent events in the United States

June 02, 2020 - by William Graves


A note to the Iowa State community,

The systemic racism that tarnishes our society has been especially apparent and egregious in recent weeks.  As a person whose life was made easier by being born with white skin, I know that I do not fully understand the experiences of people of color.  I can only imagine what I might live with each day had I been born Black.  But I am saddened and outraged by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, by the racism experienced in New York City by Christian Cooper, and by the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.  I know that these highly publicized episodes do not come close to representing the multitude of discriminatory acts that take place each day across our country, including here in Ames.  Please know that black lives matter in the Graduate College, and that we strive to do better each day to support full inclusion and equity at Iowa State University. 

As we process the tragic events experienced by Americans of color recently, please continue to support one another.  And I hope you will join me in deliberately looking each day for at least one way to promote positive change.  Today, for example, I voted in Iowa’s primary election and am participating in a virtual conference on how graduate education can help to diversify university faculty.

Thank you for choosing to be part of the Iowa State community, and please let us know how we can help you during this challenging summer.


Signature of William Graves



William R. Graves

Dean of the Graduate College

Iowa State University