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Drake calls for the rebuilding ‘of inclusion and support’ after election

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University President Michael Drake sits on a panel during his college-affordability tour August 2015. Credit: Lantern File Photo

University President Michael Drake sits on a panel during his college-affordability tour August 2015. Credit: Lantern File Photo

In the wake of a contentious U.S. presidential election that stretched until about 2:30 a.m. before being declared for Republican Donald Trump, University President Michael Drake called for reconciliation in a statement issued Wednesday night.

“This highly contested election has left many in our community bruised and very uncertain,” Drake said. “It is incumbent upon us all to rebuild the sense of inclusion and support that has been key to the vibrant and engaged experience that is Ohio State.”

In a shock to many pollsters, pundits and members of the media, Trump beat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in what many expected to be a blowout to end a contentious and volatile race. Drake urged community members to embrace a positive outlook, regardless of which candidate they voted for.

“I am reminded that when approaching seasons of time and change, it is important to consider and focus on our values — particularly respect, integrity and compassion,” he said. “As a university, we exist to create knowledge, explore ideas and welcome diverse opinions in an atmosphere that is open, collegial and safe for each of us.”

Drake’s sentiment echoed the addresses of Trump, Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama, all of whom spoke on Wednesday — Trump just after the results were declared, Clinton Wednesday morning and Obama Wednesday afternoon — calling for unity after a divisive election season.

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