Our lives have certainly changed since our last Visions went to press! I am pleased to report that classes are back in session but with fewer students on campus.
A less densely populated campus will allow The W to enhance our physical distancing measures, which will only serve to strengthen our health, safety and general well-being measures described in our Campus Renewal Plan, which can be found at muw.edu/renewal.
I commend our administrators, faculty and staff for all they have done to meet our students’ needs and plan for the coming academic year. We have worked with the city of Columbus and with the other IHL (Institutions of Higher Learning) to share plans and implement guidelines to be used going forward.
COVID-19 caused us to extend our spring break an additional week to allow our faculty time to move classes to remote learning and alternate forms of delivering instruction. Counseling, tutoring, advising, proctoring and library services all went online to provide the resources our students needed to complete the semester. We concluded the Spring 2020 semester with a virtual commencement ceremony, celebrating the newest members of the Long Blue Line. Friends and alumni pitched in to provide a commemorative gift to be sent to our May graduates.
As part of our COVID-19 response, we cannot thank alumni enough for their generous gifts to our Student Emergency Fund, which has helped many of our current students through some unusual hardships. Please be sure to read the article about how you continue to make a difference.
With the wave of cases continuing to occur, it looks like it will be a while before we can have large gatherings, and physical commencements are not likely to be possible for the rest of 2020.
Our mission and priorities remain the same – we are committed to providing a high-quality education in a personalized learning environment for women and men, while maintaining our historical commitment to academic and leadership development for women. COVID-19 doesn’t change any of that – it just changes our methods of delivery. Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our W community.
There will be many questions to address as we move forward, and we will continue to update our website to keep everyone informed.
At my investiture last year, I spoke about the themes for my presidency – adaptability, positivity and accountability. Why, oh why did I not focus on world peace and prosperity? Nonetheless, we will continue to adapt; we will look for the opportunities this crisis will give us to find ways to perform more efficiently and to embrace fl exible models of delivery and multiple pathways for student engagement.
In the next few pages of the magazine, you will read about the accomplishments of our faculty and staff, including the Kossen Award recipient and Faculty Member of the Year. Additionally, you will read about alumni whose time at The W prepared for them for unprecedented times such as these and how they have persevered.
We will emerge from this stronger and better. Be WISE (Willing to Interact in a Safe Environment). Stay safe, and enjoy reading this edition of Visions!
Nora Roberts Miller, Class of 1983