Resilience and Kindness

In recent weeks, I have witnessed an outpouring of care from every corner of our far-flung W&M family. So many have reached out to ask: What can I do? As we continue to chart a path forward together, I feel honored to be part of this community.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, students and faculty facing emergencies during this crisis have been able to access needed funding. Every gift, no matter the size, through our For the Bold campaign makes an incredible difference. So far, we have provided 118 students with emergency financial support.

Despite the extraordinary challenges we face, I have confidence that we will close our For the Bold campaign triumphantly, as planned. This accomplishment reflects the depth of our community’s compassion. Thank you for ensuring that the university and those who live, learn and work at William & Mary flourish.

I have often said that we change to advance that which we value most. We will be changed by this pandemic, as a society, as a community. Especially in such difficult times, we must seek out lessons to learn and opportunities to seize. I look forward to thinking together with you about the gains we can make this spring and beyond.

I take heart in the transformations we have accomplished in this short amount of time. We all know that higher education prides itself in measured response and reflection. William & Mary has held onto our pride in those qualities even as we have moved expeditiously to advance the three-part mission we cherish: teaching, learning and research.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Our students and faculty have taken their pursuit of learning and scholarship online: 2,000-plus courses in two weeks. Research and learning advance, aided by our Studio for Teaching and Learning Innovation.
  • Our staff has kept the university running apace, rapidly adapting to new technologies and workflows and providing round-the-clock care to support our students’ health and wellbeing.
  • Our researchers have pooled their PPEs and shared them with local hospitals — resources we hope will extend the safety of our courageous local healthcare providers on the front line.
  • Our alumni are connecting with each other and alma mater via virtual networking, professional and intellectual programming, webinars and volunteer opportunities.
  • Our neighbors, parents, and friends have pulled together to support this community — through words of encouragement, guidance and continued investment. 

In this historic moment, each of us has an extraordinary opportunity to reimagine our purpose, pursue new passions and explore new modes for creating community. Thank you for your resilience and kindness and for being a constant in a time of rapid change.

Best regards,

Katherine A. Rowe