March 30, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

Today, as we begin our first day of virtual instruction, I want to welcome you back to the Dolphin Pod and express my sincere gratitude to each of you for the role you played in getting us here.

To the faculty, thank you for your dedication to our students and the incredible efforts you have made in transitioning your in-person classes to dynamic, interactive, virtual classes that facilitate inquiry and discovery. To the staff, thank you for your tremendous efforts in transforming nearly every corner of our campus into a virtual academic community that is adaptive and accessible. To the dedicated staff who are still coming to campus to keep our community and our residential students safe and cared for, we are eternally grateful for your service.

To our students, thank you for your courage in moving through this unprecedented time and your determination to realize your greatest educational aspirations. To the class of 2020, I know this is not how you imagined your final semester of college, but we are all so very proud of your achievements and we look forward to the day we will be able to celebrate them together.

As we continue our academic work in the weeks ahead, I know that we will continue to face challenges, but I also know that we will emerge on the other side, as a stronger and more resilient community. At the start of the academic year in my Convocation Address, I welcomed you all back to campus with these words:

We are not just any academic community; we are an exceptional institution of higher learning rooted in imagination, idealism and hope. Hope that we will enable the potential of every student that enters our doors and that they will flourish beyond them as future leaders in service of a more learned, just and equitable future. Hope that each of us will realize our greatest intellectual potential here as well and leave a legacy as innovators who set a new path for the future of higher education.

Your collective actions in the past few weeks are direct evidence that we are deeply rooted in these values and I am more humbled and honored to serve as your President every day.

Please be sure to regularly visit our COVID-19 website and FAQ’s for up-to-date information and additional support programs for students, faculty and staff.

In the meantime, take good care of yourselves, Dolphins. And take care of each other.


Erika D. Beck, Ph.D.

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