Resilience & Kindness Amid Crisis

We Admit It! Tribe Pride runs deep, as does our resiliency and commitment to our community, demonstrated most recently by William & Mary students banding together to volunteer with Meals on Wheels, our wellness expert posting advice on how to flourish during a crisis, and students in our Introduction to Engineering Design class utilizing our Makerspace facilities to design and produce face shields for local first responders.

Additionally, William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe recently communicated with the entire university community regarding our response to the COVID-19 crisis and we wanted to share her message here with you as well.

We hope your family and community are healthy and safe as well. And as always, if we can be of assistance in your college search process please be in touch!

Historic brick building in early spring with bright yellow daffodils in bloom in the foreground.

Resilience and kindness amid crisis

March 31, 2020

Dear William & Mary Community,

At our first weekly Community Conversation, I invited our far-flung William & Mary family to learn how the Alma Mater of the Nation is responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Many have written to me with reminders that William & Mary has weathered extraordinary challenges in the past, with resilience. That said, in barely three weeks, our world has shifted and our lives changed. As we work through immediate-term solutions in crisis mode, we will begin to shift to living, teaching and learning during a pandemic. As we continue to chart a path forward together, I feel honored to be part of this community.

I take heart in the transformations we have accomplished in such a 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 advances, music performances continue and students and teachers are coming together to explore the affordances of distance education, 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.
  • Our community has generously given to the university through our For the Bold campaign so that students facing emergencies can access needed funding. So far, we have provided 118 students with emergency financial support. It says so much about who our students are that they have asked only for what they need – knowing others will be in need too.

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
President

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