MORE Support from ACTUAL alums

 
President Lyons,
 
Thank you so much for your dedicated efforts in making USD a place for everyone. I am an alumna from the class of 2007. I cherish my experience at USD because of all that I learned from that experience, including how to love everyone regardless of race, age, gender, and sexual orientation. USD not only provided me with an incredible thirst for knowledge and a great education, but also the understanding that everyone deserves the chance to excel in life. The various aspects of community life on campus provided outlets for people of all interests and perspectives, including the Black Student Union, Greek system, Women’s Center, various political groups, the LGBT community, and many more. Plus, the extensive efforts to teach students about the past problems at USD and the necessary tasks to prevent them, like eating disorders, hate crimes, and sexual assault, created a discussion among students and staff to teach the USD community that these issues are no longer acceptable. The message was clear:  Tolerance is not enough; acceptance is the mission. USD was and is a safe place for all. Thank you for continuing that with all of your efforts. I intend to donate to USD again for that purpose.
 
PS…As we say in public radio, donors cannot keep their money hostage. We will not change our mission in order to receive a person’s donation. We are a nonprofit service for the public community. We are not driven by dollars but by our mission to enrich the lives of those in our community.
 
Sincerely,
 
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Dear President Lyons and USD administration,

 


My name is XX and I am a USD alum.   I want to express my support and gratitude towards USD's efforts to make the university a more inclusive place.  I was  very saddened to discover that other members of the USD community retaliated against recent LGBT events on campus with hateful words. 

 


I graduated from USD in 2003 and even worked in the Campus Diversity Development Office for several years.  Therefore, I understand just how difficult the task at hand is, but I also understand how important it is, despite opposition from others.  I sincerely hope that USD continues to foster an inclusive and diverse environment on campus.

 


Finally I would like to say that in my opinion, working to make the university  more inclusive is 100% in alignnement with USD's strong Catholic tradition and mission: a tradition connected to LOVE, COMPASSION, & COMMUNITY.

 


Regards,
 
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Dear President Lyons,
I am an alum and hopeful future USD law student. I want to thank you and let you know that I appreciate what you are trying to do to make USD an inclusive place for every member of the USD community.
Sincerely,
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 
I have just become yourbiggest fan because you have stood up for your beliefs and what is right in theface of adversity.  You are setting an amazing example for the studentsand alumni of The University of San Diego.
 
When I was a student atUSD, I had wonderful opportunities to grow in my faith and gainknowledge and experiences that I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else.  Iwent through the Rainbow Educators training and proudly displayed a triangle atthe entrance of the office of The Vista when I was Editor sothat people knew it was an inclusive place.  I hope that at some pointduring that year, it made a difference to someone.
 
Thank you so very much forkeeping USD a place that is "Catholic" in the truest sense of theword "catholic" meaning universal and involving all interests. 
 
If two people find a love thatis self-sacrificing, full of friendship and love of neighbors above oneself forthe greater glory of God, and if that love makes these two lucky people makethe world a better place through their love, then it doesn't matter if they aretwo women, or two men, or a man and a woman.  We need love more thananything in this world.  
 
I support anyone who loves,no matter who they love. 
 
With great admiration foryour pursuit of social justice, civil rights, and inclusivity for USD,
 
--
 

Dear President Lyons,
Thank you for supporting events that relate to gender identity and gender expression. As an alum of USD ('03), I am deeply saddened by the backlash that the university has received for supporting these events. I am very thankful and appreciative of my time at USD. I credit the diversity of religious courses - including World Religions, Buddhism and Hinduism - as important lessons in being open to different views and beliefs, respect for others, and compassion. That is why I am surprised and disheartened that certain people would use the university's affiliation with Catholicism in order to persecute, bully and discriminate against others. I hope the university can stay strong and reject the pathetic threats of these small-minded individuals. Thank you for supporting LGBT community, and by doing that, supporting the entire student community.
Yours Sincerely,
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 

I am writing in response to the request posted on the USD 4 Everyone website. I am an alumna of USD, Class of 1999 and I have been deeply disappointed to learn of the reaction of some alumni to the upcoming Drag Show. 
 

As a college counselor, I can personally attest to how important it is for students to feel that they are going to attend a college or university that is open and accepting. Students are looking for a place that will foster an inclusive and respectful community. While attending USD, I felt that while strongly connected to the Catholic faith, it was an amazing community, accepting of all.  I appreciate your work to ensure that this remains true.
 

Sincerely,
 
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Dear President Lyons,
I am an alum of the University of San Diego and I wanted to thank you for approving and standing behind your decision to allow the LGBT friendly events on campus. I remember vividly the personal essay question stating USD's goal to bring diversity and asking how I could contribute to that goal. I understand that it can be hard to please other alumni, especially with the deep roots in Catholicism that the university has. But I am so proud to hear that my school is doing its part to be an inclusive to all students. I have never been so proud to be a Torero!
Thank you again,
 
--
 
As a USD Alum, I am beyond grateful to have attended a school that
makes a point to stand up for equality in every sense of the word.
Thank you for adding "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the
university's Equal Opportunity Policy and for sponsoring these very
important educational events.
I am beaming with pride that my school seeks to educate students on
the "complexities of gender non-conformity". Let's continue to
challenge and change the minds of those who oppress certain groups of
people and make USD a more inclusive place to learn!
THANK YOU!!!!
 
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Dear President Lyons,
    I am a USD alum of the 2010 class and my mother is also an alum of the 1979 class and we both wanted to thank you for your support and progress in making USD an inclusive campus, not a hateful one. While we understand the religious complications, we are supposed to love our neighbors and let God be the judge. Again, thank you.
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 
This is my first time writing to you as an Alumnae, and I'm doing it with passion in my heart. I was saddened to see USD in the news with such controversy over the upcoming drag event, and sickened by comments like the show being perversion at its highest level. My first reaction was great pride that my alma mater has continued its efforts to be a leader in acceptance and peace.  That we built that beautiful peace and justice center and are really walking our talk. I know it's difficult for a catholic church to accept "different ways of life", but USD is not a church. It is a place for higher learning. And how can true higher learning occur when hate and ignorance are involved? I was excited to see that only 4 years since I graduated there seems to be great improvement in the category of acceptance for LGBTQ youth. My second reaction was one of anger and disappointment that in 2012 there are still wealthy people who will throw their weight around to get their hateful agenda across. While I wasn't surprised, I was still disappointed.
 

The fact of the matter is, USD is not just a place for white wealthy catholic women looking for husbands or men looking for their business degree and a trophy wife. USD  has expanded with the changing world to accept all different kinds of people. Sexual orientation and religious affiliation should have nothing to do with how a student is treated on campus. I am not catholic, but enjoyed going to founders chapel and even singing in the choir for a few of my years on campus. I was never treated any differently because I'm not catholic, and I hate to think that's because on the surface with my blonde hair, nice clothes and football player on my arm, I looked the accepted part on campus.
 

I applaud the school for allowing this event, and especially the students themselves for bravely standing up for what they believe in; it is not an easy task on campus, nor is it easy in the real world. But if it is something you are truly passionate about, it is worth it.
 

Now I implore you and the school to not cater to the wealthy donors who are threatening to pull their money because of this event. While I know this is an impossible thought in the current economy, you know it's the right thing to do. Money that comes from hateful people is still money, but think of the message that would send to your students, alumni, and faculty. I plan to make a donation simply in response to this controversy, and I feel that many kind hearted people with acceptance in their hearts will do the same. I plan to forward the support group (a USD for everyone) to my classmates and friends from the class of 2008. And while many of us can't give a lot, we will give what we can in support of this message. Thank you for walking your talk.
 

Sincerely,
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 
I just wanted to write a quick email thanking you for upholding our University's mission during this time. I couldn't be more proud to be a true Torero, not only because of the amazing education I have received during my four years here, but also because the University is true to its word. Through my involvement within the campus community, I have grown as a leader and an individual. I have learned what values I cherish most, and I have learned the importance of aligning my values and my actions. It is clear that I have learned this from the example the University has made for its students. Regardless of the threats and hateful messages the school has received, the University is staying true to its values and mission. Because of this, I will be a proud supporter of my alma mater far after my graduation.
 

Thank you!
 
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Dear Dr. Lyons,
 

I am a USD alum ('02) and I was appalled when I read about XX  website.  I am so proud of the USD community for opening the doors to empathy and compassion, which are the teachings of Jesus.  Mr XX appears to have not paid attention in bible study regarding how we should treat others.  Having grown up Catholic attending the Immaculata as a child and later USD for college, my faith foundation have taught me that the most important thing we can do is to treat others with love and understanding.  Being judgmental, like Mr. XX  is, makes not only the Catholic community look bad, but also the word of Jesus.  Thank you for standing up for what is right and allowing USD be the beacon of what it means to be a christian, and a human. 
 
 
As a side note, every year I contribute to USD and will make an extra offering this year in appreciation for how USD is trying to change the world.
 

Sincerely,
 

 
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President Lyons,
 
As an openly gay employee of the University of San Diego, I would like to thank you and the rest of the USD administration for your continued support of tonight’s drag show – as well as the countless other activities on our campus that promote diversity, inclusion and awareness. 
 
Just in the two years I have been working here, I have seen tremendous progress in the way LGBT and gender identity issues are discussed and treated on this campus.  The drag show is a HUGE step forward and I can only hope we continue to progress in a positive, open-minded and inclusive manner.  That is the kind of Catholicism that I am familiar with.
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 
I wanted to thank you for supporting diversity programs at the University of San Diego. As someone who attended USD, I am proud of the efforts the University has made to make the campus a safe and comfortable place forALL students.
 
I understand that there has been opposition towards USD being inclusive towardsall students-especially those in the LGBT community. Please know that for every intolerant person out there, there are many more of us applauding your efforts of inclusiveness.
 
Thank you again for supporting the LGBT community efforts on campus. You make us all proud.
 
Sincerely,
 
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President Lyons,
I am a proud Alum to see that inclusion is practiced at USD. As a Catholic man who attends mass on a weekly basis, as well as someone who used to be relatively closed minded regarding gender identity and sexuality, I am encouraged to see that discourse is alive and well. Not everyone needs to agree with what is heard, but everyone should listen with an open heart and an open mind and be exposed to the discussion. There is no better place for this than a University campus. And no better campus than USD, a Catholic institution dedicated to preparing its students for the real world.
 
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President Lyons,
I am writing to express my gratitude and appreciation for the many steps taken by the USD community to work towards becoming a more loving, non-judgmental and inclusive campus. Tonight's show is only a small representation of the inclusiveness so many of us have worked towards over the years. I attended the MFT program from 2000-2002 at USD. During this time I was also a Graduate Assistant in the United Front Multicultural Center, helping to develop diversity workshops for students, faculty and staff. I also volunteered as a Rainbow Educator, giving presentations around campus to help educate students and faculty about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender individuals and the difficulties faced in a non-inclusive world.
It has been brought to my attention that several alum have threatened to stop making donations to USD if the drag show is held tonight. I understand the questions and discussions that this likely brought to the table for yourself and other individuals at the university. I want to say "Thank you" for making inclusiveness a priority. Your dedication to a more open and understanding campus community surely will aid in the growth and education beyond the classroom for your students and the entire USD family.
Sincerely,
 
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Dear President Lyons:
 

I am a proud graduate of USD Class of 1982.  I also served on the USD Alumni Association Board with Mr. XX in 1989-1991.  I am writing of my support of the University's decision to host LGBT events in the coming days. I very much appreciate you and the University making USD an inclusive supportive environment for all members of its community.
 

Having attended USD, I am grateful to the University for for guiding me in my faith and for giving me the freedom to question, learn and experience new ideas. I would like to thank you, President Lyons, in supporting an inclusive community that upholds the Catholic traditions of love and tolerance. After I graduated USD I attended a law school where I was made to not feel included because I am Mexican-American.  My time at USD was the exact opposite and I am always thankful for that environment. 
 
USD taught us to love one another and to be accepting of different viewpoints.  I am always grateful of my education at USD and I am very proud of USD's support of tolerance and equality in this matter.
 

With much appreciation.
 
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Dear President Lyons,
I'm writing to thank you for giving USD's Pride Club the opportunity to host its first annual Drag Show.  I know that you have recently been slammed with a lot of negative comments towards the show, but I wanted to just send a thank you for giving USD students and community members this opportunity.  As an RA, I have witnessed different acts of intolerance on this campus that I hope to abolish.  I have friends in the gay community who I have watched struggle to find their identity and to find a place of acceptance.  I know that change cannot happen over night, but I do believe that taking strides through creating a more inclusive environment can help.  So, I just wanted to say thank you for staying true to the values of our inclusive and tolerant campus by providing the club with this opportunity.  Although I am not a part of PRIDE, I will be in attendance at the event to show my support for inclusivity on our campus.  I look forward to this event and thank you for your strength and support.
Sincerely,
 
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Hello President Lyons,
I am currently a student at University of San Diego and wanted to let you know how proud I am of being a part of a community who supports all LGBT friendly events. I have been researching and witnessing all the backlash online and on the news and cannot thank you enough for the support behind the events.
Thank you,
 
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Dear President Lyons,
I am writing to tell you that I am an alumni of USD and I strongly support and appreciate what you are doing in trying to make USD an inclusive place for students and alumni alike.  If we want to be better as a University and as a community we need to progress.  I feel that stances like the one you and the University are taking on this sensitive matter are one's that will help the University take vital steps into the future and become better and stronger for it.  Remember that in times like this the facts about what is going on might become distorted and misconstrued by those who don't really understand what you are trying to do.  It is important that you stay true to what the vision of the University is and that is a place of community, a place of inclusiveness, and a place of higher learning.
Thank you very much for your time and I wish you the best in things to come.
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 
As an alum of SOLES who put many hours in as a GA in student government and student orgs, not to mention as the SOLES GSA representative to the Graduate Student Council, I would like to thank you for keeping USD LGBT friendly. So much of the work I did as a GA while at USD was to promote tolerance and love for our fellow men and women. I loved working with the students of USD and I know the majority are also for the university's promotion of this ideology of inclusivity. Please keep USD on the map as a university that promotes diversity in all its forms.
 
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Dear President Lyons and Administration,
 
I am a proud alumna from the class of 2008.  I have come to know San Diego as my home for the last 8 years.  Part of the reason I choose to stay in San Diego after graduating was due to the fact that I had such an amazing, diverse, and accepting experience at USD.  I got to know my fellow classmates and the community as a whole through a lot of events that USD offered.  I was taught the importance of respecting and celebrating all people in my time at USD. Never had I been exposed to so many different people coming from so many different walks of life before attending USD. I know for a fact that the USD community made me a more inclusive person.  Some of my best friends to this day come from my time spent at USD and a good number of them are part of the LGBT community. Thank you so much for showing so much support to the LGBT community.  I was raised Catholic from a young age and I find it hard to believe that the God I was raised to believe in would want such hatred shown toward others. The core values of the Catholic Church are based on kindness and love for all.  Thank you for holding strong on this issue despite all the criticism. Please continue to foster the nurturing environment that existed when I attended USD. Thank you for continually making me proud to tell others that I am a Torero!
 
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Hi Dr. Lyons,
 
I have been following the backlash on the Cal Catholic newsletter.  I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with so much pressure. 
For what it’s worth I wanted to tell you that the issue is close to my heart because my younger sister identifies as gay and she has been so conflicted for all her life.  We both went to Catholic schools, my mother is from Latin America and is very devout. But I was heartened when I read about the Catholic Bishops response called, “Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children” .   It’s available in Spanish on their webpage and I sent it to my mom recently when my sister came out to her.  It was a message of love and acceptance and I believe it helped reduce conflict that my mom might have experienced. 
 
Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for putting up with the backlash and for allowing academic freedom on our campus. I do think that this issue is still evolving in our Catholic communities, but mostly I have hope that love will conquer all and that everyone’s God-given sexuality will be respected and honored. 
 
Take care and blessings this Easter season,
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 
I am writing to you to tell you how much it means to me that the University of San Diego is hosting its first Drag Show ever.  A year ago I was a student at a high school in rural Minnesota where the school administration paid no attention to their LGBT students.  The University of San Diego was appealing to me because I knew that I would be accepted here regardless of my sexual orientation, and I believe the Drag Show is a great way to show that to future students.  I want to personally thank you for allowing this event to happen, and for supporting your diverse student body.  In conclusion, I just want you to know how much Torero Spirit I have knowing that we are a Catholic University that is paving the way for acceptance in the Catholic community.
My sincerest thanks and best wishes to you!
 
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Dear President Lyons and the USD administration
My name is XX, an alumni of 2006. I would like to express my
sincere thank you and high appreciation for your commitment to
diversity for USD.  You don't know how much of an impact USD has made
in the four years I was there. If it weren't for the Multicultural
Center's work towards making USD an inclusive place, I don't think I
would have developed such a strong bond to USD and my fellow
colleagues. The continued work of those who strive for inclusivity and
diversity at USD can only be strengthened by an administration that
supports them. Your support means more to just the current USD
students but to the many alumni who have worked to create cultural
understanding and awareness at USD and in the community.
In my own personal experience, I can attest to my colleagues who have
supported each other and created a sense of community that goes beyond
race, color, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and the list
goes on. The support that you have for these events shows that action
speaks louder than words. I thank you for standing by our students. I
thank you for the administration's support. Above all, I thank you for
making USD become just more than a place to learn but a place for
everyone.
 
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I am so proud of USD for having a drag show and approving of educational events that support the gay, lesbian, and transgender community. All the hate and negative comments just prove that these kinds of events are that much more necessary. If the word "Catholic" means universal and all-embracing, USD is doing just that. I'm sorry but I can't believe in a God or church that tells you who you are allowed to love and what you can and cannot wear.
 

Work that runway with your chin held high! ;)
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 
I would just like to express my support for "USD's First Ever Drag Show." I believe it helps uphold our university's commitment to inclusion and diversity. Thank you.
 

From,
 
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Dear President Lyons,
 
I am writing in support of the events that are happening during the month of April to encourage students to learn more about gender identity and gender expression.  It sounds like USD PRIDE is doing a great job educating the university community on issues that many people are uneducated or mis-educated about, and I am sorry that I am not in the area to support the events as they are happening.  As a college student, I learned a great deal about issues that were previously unknown to me, and I believe that because of the many educational events I attended that I am a better, more open person with a stronger Catholic faith.  My USD education is with me every day, and I do my best to support USD, as I want USD to continue to be a place where everyone is welcome and everyone has the opportunity to be educated - both in and out of the classroom. 
 

Additionally, being member of the USD community means a great deal to me, and I am also always proud to say that I am an alumna of a Catholic institution that promotes love and acceptance of others instead of judgment.  My Catholic faith was greatly nurtured at USD by the inclusiveness of the community and is the reason I chose to volunteer for 3 years post-graduation and to work in higher education as a campus minister.  I hope that I am able to pass on that same love and acceptance of all that I experienced at USD to the students at the university where I work because I know that that kind of love and acceptance is sometimes difficult to find.  I thank you for continuing to ensure that USD is a place of inclusion and love!
 

In Peace,
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