Dear Ole Miss alumni,
As we face unprecedented challenges at our treasured university and across the nation and world, I’m writing to share that we’ve been keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. We know there is not a member of the Ole Miss family untouched by this crisis and that you are personally grappling with changes in work settings or status, increased caretaking responsibilities or great concerns about your health and the well-being of your loved ones. Our lives are rapidly being reshaped by the challenges and disruptions of this public health crisis.
While we have had to take drastic steps for the university in these uncertain times, the driving factor in our decision-making has been our commitment to protecting the safety, health and well-being of our university community. Our overarching goal is to enable our students to complete the Spring 2020 semester in a manner that safeguards the health of everyone in our university community. Our faculty and staff leapt into action to uphold our commitment to serving our students. The transition of our operations to a mission-critical status in just a matter of days and taking classes to online or other alternative formats in a week’s time has required a herculean effort, and I am extremely proud of the work they continue to do for our students.
The campus is awfully quiet these days. We miss the bustle of students across campus, the exuberant sight of “Swayze Showers” in right field and the many wonderful spring celebrations from Honors Convocation to Double Decker Festival to Commencement. While we can’t be together on campus right now, we hope you will enjoy “This Week in Photos” where our outstanding university photographers have captured how the past week reshaped life on campus and around Oxford in so many ways. You’ll also see that spring has sprung in Oxford, and the handiwork of our award-winning Landscape Services team is on display as they keep America’s most beautiful campus looking so amazing.
I recently sent a message to our student body and included a special note to our Class of 2020 that I want to share with you:
This is an emotional turn of events to transpire right as you should be celebrated. We’re so proud of you and all that you have accomplished during your years here. While the world may be somewhat different when we come out on the other side of this trying time, your roles as leaders and Rebels will not. Like Ole Miss alumni everywhere, I know you will move the world forward.
The strength of the Ole Miss family has never been more evident or appreciated than it is now. This university has weathered many challenges over the last 172 years. When we look back at the historical moment that is unfolding around us, we will remember how we endured it and ultimately flourished. We will persist through this and be stronger for it.
Please know we are here in this time of need, and know our beloved campus will again be the energetic, vibrant place we all love. I eagerly anticipate the day when we can come together again. Stay well, and thank you for being part of our amazing university community.
Glenn F. Boyce