Monday, March 30, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we near the end of our first day of online teaching classes, I want to thank everyone who helped us get through this transition so smoothly. I hope everyone had a good experience today and I’m confident we all will soon become a little more comfortable with our new normal.

The transition to online learning in the middle of a semester was a challenge and our faculty and staff have proven in these past few weeks that they are ready, and we know our students are too. 

Our focus has always been, and will continue to be, on developing our students into leaders--the heart of our Humanics philosophy. Our faculty have been hard at work preparing their courses for online delivery, working with the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, and our academic technologists, and instructional designers to take our dynamic curriculum into a new modality. That is collaboration at its best. Excellent teaching skills and disciplinary expertise will come alive virtually, and our students will adapt to this new environment. While we did not anticipate this to be the way we finished the spring semester, we will all become stronger for it, learning how to lead in the most challenging of times.

Our students received two important letters on Friday, one from our Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Martha Potvin and one from our Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Love, summarizing the work and student support their divisions continue to offer.

The College continues to operate as usual, if not in the usual ways. Our staff members are working hard to keep the College functioning. Members of Divisions of Student Life, Information and Technology Services, and Inclusion and Community Engagement have come together to provide virtual support for students, both academically and personally. The staff from the Offices of Housing and Residence Life, Public Safety, and Facilities guided residential students and their families as they moved out of their residence halls. Our employees have taken the transition to remote work in stride with the integration of technology, including Zoom meetings where we have had the opportunity to meet many new coworkers, including children and loving, furry family members.

We postponed, rather than cancelled, commencement because our seniors deserve to be celebrated in a public way for their tremendous accomplishments. We have moved our Accepted Student Open House to a virtual format so our prospective students and their families can still experience the excitement that is Springfield College. And, we continue to strive towards having as many events this semester in a virtual format as we can, because we know how important traditions like Scholars in Action Day are to all of us.

All of these efforts that we see, and the many that we don’t see, demonstrate our strong commitment to the Humanics philosophy in everything we do. Whether it is members of our Board of Trustees checking in each day, alumni providing support for our current students, or faculty members gathering supplies to donate to the local hospitals, we are showing what it means to be Springfield College strong.

Our campus community is not defined by our physical space; we are defined by the individual connections we have with each other. "We're stronger together" isn't just a catch phrase we're using these days--it's our truth. 

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or Humanics stories to share. We hope that you and your families and friends are healthy and staying that way, and look forward to the time when we are together again on our beautiful campus. Stay connected, reach out, check on each other, share laughs, stories, and photos. We are stronger together.

Best,

Mary-Beth A. Cooper

Springfield College President