On Tues., January 31, Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., brought the University community together for a discussion about the recent executive order regarding immigration.

“At Park University, we have intentionally built and will continue to strengthen our inclusive culture. Our student population, in particular, is a reflection of several institutional core values: excellence, inclusivity and global citizenship,” Gunderson said. “Because those values are core to who we are, we are extremely proud, supportive and protective of our diverse student population. For 141 years, Park has been committed to educational access. In all that we do, we will put students’ needs first.”

Gunderson also reminded the crowd that this way of operating is nothing new for Park University. “I find comfort in our history,” he said. “As a University, we have managed to do what is right—not what was easy or popular.”

He encouraged students to support one another, keep studying, stay informed (through credible news sources) and advised students who are directly impacted by the executive order, if possible, to refrain from traveling.

After Park University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Doug Fiore, Ph.D., recognized faculty and staff who work with students and provided an additional message of support, Courtney Goddard, J.D., vice president and general counsel, followed with an update about the executive order. “It is ever-changing,” she advised, while detailing the current interpretations and potential impact.

Next, Senior Director Kevin Vicker spoke about the resources provided to the international students by the Office of International Students and advised students to use newly-created contact cards, made available to everyone in the crowd at the end of the evening, should they ever need special assistance. Vicker also announced that Thursday, Feb. 2, will be International Student Appreciation Day on the Parkville Campus, with events planned to demonstrate support of Park’s international community.

The evening closed with a Q&A session, where students and faculty asked Goddard, Gunderson and Vicker a variety of questions.

For additional updates concerning the order, please continue to visit inclusion.park.edu.