Letter to Students from the President - March 22, 2020

March 22, 2020

Dear Griffins,

At the end of spring break, I expected to welcome you back to campus. Instead, a week later, I’m welcoming you back to classes, but not to campus – not yet, anyway.

For the next month or two, you’ll stay connected to faculty, staff, and friends virtually. The experiences will probably be both exciting and frustrating, as people from around the globe try to use the same websites, conferencing tools, and videoconferencing platforms. We’re all going to learn more about the possibilities of remote instruction, and we’ll also start missing some things.

We’ll miss seeing you in Shaw, HWAC, and Bassis, studying in the library, hanging out in the residential village, and playing on Dumke field. We’ll miss applauding your performances, hearing your research presentations, seeing your studio work, and attending events together. We’ll miss the senior dinners, outdoor trips, and impromptu conversations in classrooms, offices, and on the commons.

All of that will come back, and more.

While you’re gone, many of us will still be on campus, in our offices and meeting in (small, socially distant) groups, planning for the events and experiences that make Westminster remarkable We’ve kept things going, such as preserving student financial aid awards, which in many cases have increased. We’re doing what we can to keep student employees working and accommodate students’ residential needs. We’ll continue to look toward the fall, with plans to increase student wages for many on-campus positions and to turn more of those positions into true internships. We know that the priority of serving students’ needs for mental health care is still with us. Our staff and faculty are working hard to adjust to the challenges of the next several weeks while also planning for your return by designing an “integrated wellness hub,” bringing together mental, physical and financial wellness into one suite of services. As the spring and summer go on, I’ll continue to share news about these and other college initiatives.

When you come back to campus, we’ll be more excited than ever to see you and get back to an even better Westminster.

I know you can’t drop by the office or catch me on campus to let me know what’s on your mind. I’m still here, ready for a phone call, Facetime, email, or chat by MS Teams, Skype, Zoom, WebEx – whatever works for you. Give it a try.

Happy spring,
Beth

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