This past week has brought us all new challenges to bear. It will take our heads and our hearts to name the anger, fear, sadness, and more that has come from the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent unrest that has followed in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond. Through our collective community, faith, and courage, we can work to understand the systemic changes needed in order to improve justice so we could dare to hope that racism will be eliminated.
We bless and release all students, faculty, and staff from classes and work for the next two days, Monday, June 1, and Tuesday, June 2, to provide the time and space to reflect on all that has happened. The University will be closed, and we hope each of us can use this time to find our own best way to help the community in some manner: help clean-up, donate time/supplies/money, be present for those in need, or simply take care of yourself and those you love.
There are a number of colleagues in Student Affairs, Facilities, and Public Safety who have been and will continue to work tirelessly to keep our students and campus safe during these very trying days and nights. Please join us in thanking them.
Many teams have been working around the clock during the time of the pandemic to support the return of some students and faculty to our beautiful campus for summer term starting on June 8. To ensure these colleagues can feel they too have this time means that we will all need to demonstrate an abundance of grace when we eventually return to campus. We may find things are not as expected or that there are necessary changes that we must make before we are fully operating as we all desire.
Everyone needs some time to reflect and just be; to take a moment to breathe out the stress, exhaustion, and fear, and breathe in the goodness of those around us. Healing has to start somewhere. Let’s start with helping one another.