Dear faculty and staff,
As we close out the Fall 2020 semester, all of us are very familiar with the words and phrases that have been used and overused to describe the current environment — “challenging,” “unprecedented,” “unknown.” While we may be numb to these words at this point, that does not make them any less fitting. In our institution’s history, we have rarely faced an external threat like COVID-19 that reshaped our community and the world around us so rapidly.
Reaching every one of our students to provide life-changing educational and growth opportunities is ingrained in our mission and in our culture. In fulfilling that mission, our faculty, staff and administrators faced this semester with tenacity, resolve and skill. Mere words cannot adequately express my thanks and gratitude for your tremendous work and service to our university and our students.
As we commemorate the end of the semester, I hope everyone has a deep appreciation for the way we kept our students on track toward earning their degrees, redesigned how we deliver courses to comply with public health protocols, continued pushing our research enterprise, and implemented necessary training and technology upgrades. We completed the semester without the disruptions that so many of our peer institutions across the nation experienced.
All of this was accomplished in the face of every member of the university family being impacted, professionally and personally. And before the fall was over, you were looking ahead to the Spring 2021 semester and all the ways that we can improve and enhance our academic offerings and campus life opportunities for our students. All of this gets at the core of who we are as a university community that we are all working tirelessly to offer the best on-campus living, learning and working environment possible. I commend you, and I’m thankful for your adaptability, creativity, and commitment to keeping our campus community thriving.
I know we all look forward to the holidays, spending time with loved ones, and celebrating all for which we are thankful. I continue to be tremendously grateful for our caring and dynamic campus community. Over the next several weeks, we will recognize faculty and staff with various activities through the “Red & Blue Because of You!” celebration. Thank you again to the entire university family for your commitment. You are truly an inspiration.
Wishing you and yours a happy and restful Thanksgiving!
Glenn F. Boyce