President John C. Hitt sent the following message to the campus community on Monday.

Since the White House issued an executive order suspending the entry of individuals from certain countries into the United States, UCF has worked with our international students and faculty and staff members to help understand and manage this change.

UCF has created a “Focus on Immigration” web site that will be updated as we learn more about the impact of the executive actions. Until then, we urge members of our community affected by the executive order to avoid any travel outside of the U.S.

In a broader context, education is an instrument of diplomacy. As former President Ronald Reagan said, educational and cultural exchanges make us “more sensitive and wiser international citizens.”

At its core, a university’s mission is to cultivate talent and ability without regard to religion, national origin, and other factors. I believe diversity and inclusivity make our university smarter and stronger.

Personally, my mind is drawn to the timeless words of American poet Emma Lazarus. Her most famous work, “The New Colossus,” is etched in bronze at the Statue of Liberty. Her words remind me that compassion is an innate characteristic of our great country.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”