May is always graduation season, but this month marks a particularly significant “commencement,” made possible by certain “angels.”
On May 11, after three years, four months, one week, and a day, the COVID-19 federal Public Health Emergency expired.
As at graduations, let’s take this opportunity to acknowledge everyone who helped our campuses get through the pandemic.
Faculty and staff worked hard to apply the many accommodations at the time were recognized as necessary precautions. At the same time, they worried about the well-being of their own families. It’s hard to focus on work when absorbed with questions like, “Am I safe?” or “Will I get sick?” or even “What would my family do without me?” But they persevered.
Our campus leaders labored mightily to adapt to the pandemic. In a matter of weeks campuses went from business as usual to completely online. They had to reorganize class schedules, implement new technologies, and secure the resources to provide remotely a rewarding academic experience.
Then, almost as quickly, everyone had to transition to students back on campus, but in a manner that accounted for the urgency of the pandemic. Extra space had to be found that would allow for lower classroom density. Residences also housed fewer students, and living arrangements had to be made for students that tested positive and were quarantined.
All this would not have been possible were it not for the “angels” of our campuses and students – our many donors, to whom we owe our deepest thanks.
Their support literally contributed to the resilience that made SCICU member campuses among the safest places to be during the pandemic. With families facing illness and employment disruptions, donors provided financial support at a time when students most needed it. They also supported the institutions at a time of fiscal uncertainty.
In particular, I want to thank SCICU’s generous donors who were steadfast in their support throughout the pandemic. They maintained scholarships, and they provided emergency “Lifeline” grants and other aid when students needed it most. Our donors also underwrote research projects that helped students focus on their students and prepare for their future endeavors.
We are blessed to have these angels in our lives.