First and foremost, I want to acknowledge that your health is our top priority. Difficult decisions have been made recently for all our campuses, but they have been made with your health, wellness, and safety in mind.
COVID-19 has turned many of our lives upside down, but it has not and will not turn the mission of Doane upside down.
We will continue to strive towards creating distinctive educational experiences, rooted in the liberal arts, to prepare our students for careers and lives grounded in inquiry, ethics, and a commitment to lead and serve in the global community.
The way we are delivering our education, in some instances, has changed in the short-term, but our mission has not.
Our faculty and staff have worked diligently to be agile, finding different ways to best serve our student’s needs during this unprecedented time. To all of our employees, I thank you for your commitment to our students and our university.
To all of our students, I am sorry that your education was temporarily halted and I thank you in advance for your understanding to finish the semester or term with an open mind as we transition to online learning. In some instances, this will be a new concept for you and for some, the transition will be more difficult than others. Please know that our faculty and staff are here to help you along the way. However we can assist you during this time, we will.
To our graduating students, I empathize with you. Some milestone moments in a student’s college career -- including your last Greek formal, your final athletic game, final music concert, final theatre play, the last few weeks spent on the campus, saying goodbye to your favorite professors, celebrating with your classmates and friends -- those memories will not happen because of this pandemic. I am truly sorry that those memories have been taken away, but I hope that your educational experience at Doane up until this point and the final, unique memories you will create to end the semester will provide you with many wonderful moments to reflect on.
One event, I’m sure many soon-to-be graduates are concerned about, is Commencement. We will make a decision in the coming days whether or not it will be safe and feasible to move forward with our Commencement ceremony as planned on May 9th. If we are not able to honor our graduates on this day, we plan to postpone this important event to another time when it is safe to do so, following recommendations from the CDC and local public health officials.
COVID-19 is surely impacting our alumni in a number of ways. To all of our alumni, please know that we are thinking about you as well and we hope that you are all staying safe and healthy. The impact of this pandemic is tremendous, but it is not insurmountable.
Together, we can all get through this. Let’s all do our part to follow the CDC’s guidelines of washing our hands often, practicing social distancing, staying at home if we are sick, and cleaning and disinfecting our frequently used surfaces and products often.
Last year, our Homecoming theme was Together as Tigers. I think that theme has never been more relevant or true today. Together as Tigers, let’s do our part to flatten the curve, remain strong, and persevere through this.