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Weekly Messages to Faculty

Five things that prepare faculty for the week ahead

  • November 23, 2020

    At the risk of sounding trite, I will say again how 2020 has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. Spring classes were cut short and forced online in a matter of two weeks. The summer saw some long overdue racial reckoning in our country. The fall was an amalgam of COVID-19 tests, Blackboard tools (plus the occasional glitches) and adaptation. And yet we came together as a community in ways I haven’t seen before, virtual or otherwise. We proved our ability to get through during a raging global pandemic. And, most importantly, we never lost sight of our true goal as an educational institution: to provide an excellent education to our students. I will never tire of saying again and again how proud I am of our W&M community. We worked together to beat the daunting odds.

  • November 16, 2020

    I can feel the “final push” energy of a semester nearing its end as I meet with different members of our community. An accomplishment, certainly, during any other year. For obvious reasons, this time I feel all the more proud and excited. This has truly taken a village, our village, and I am forever grateful to all of you who have come through this as a community. Here’s to wrapping things up in a safe and productive way!

  • November 9, 2020

    I hope you were all able to take some time over this past weekend to unwind and find an activity that brings you joy. As we round the corner on this semester, I want to reiterate how proud I am of our community for getting to this point together. The countless volunteer hours at the testing center, time spent preparing lesson plans conducive to different teaching modalities, and finding new and creative ways to engage our students have been some of the key elements leading to our success.

  • November 2, 2020

    Here we are: November. A big November. The election, continued classes, finals and Thanksgiving all wrapped up in one bundle. Every week I look forward to my Monday message to the W&M faculty because it gives me the opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude. So, like every week, I want to take a moment to commend you all for getting us here, and I hope that even during this hectic week you find opportunities to feel good about how far we’ve come.

  • October 26, 2020

    2020 has been a year unlike any other, yet it has also given us the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and the world around us. We’re taking stock of it all, and maybe you’ve even started a practice which will become tradition. I know that I have developed a new way of engaging in quick evening check-ins with colleagues and friends, and I take comfort in knowing that the William & Mary community is working together to get through this strange time. I am confident that we are growing as a community, adjusting and adapting to any and all challenges that come our way.

  • October 20, 2020

    We’re officially in the home stretch of the semester. Less than a month to go until classes end. This hasn’t been an easy journey and it will continue to be challenging, but as I’ve said many times before, you all have risen to the occasion and shown the resilience and dedication that is a hallmark of our university. There is still a great deal of work to be done in the remaining weeks before Thanksgiving, but the finish line of a successful semester is in sight.

  • October 12, 2020

    This has been, without a doubt, a rollercoaster of a semester. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate and respect each of you, and your resilience and drive, every day. We are moving as one community to achieve the goal we set out to accomplish: providing our students with the opportunity to receive a quality education. Certainly, this hasn’t been easy, but every day we draw closer to the conclusion of this challenging but productive semester. We are proving that when we work together, we accomplish so much.

  • October 5, 2020

    Even during the strangest and toughest of times, William & Mary continues to serve the broader community around us. I have seen efforts across each of the schools to ramp up service activities that support our broader community, as well as awards for those efforts. In addition, the Office of Community Engagement has worked to move alternative breaks online so that students can utilize their time to work on social justice. This kind of selfless, compassionate work is part of what makes William & Mary such a special place to me.

  • September 28, 2020

    This past week’s Board of Visitors Meeting covered several important matters impacting the future at William & Mary, including the new guiding principles and process for naming and renaming structures and spaces on campus. In addition, the Board and President Rowe announced that our university is opening a dialogue with our community about what Division I Athletics excellence means at William & Mary. I am glad that we have the opportunity as a community to continue these conversations as we move forward.

  • September 21, 2020

    I know how much each of you care about the students here at William & Mary, and I have certainly noticed what an outstanding job you are doing to make this semester the best that it can be. Through the hardest of times, it appears that we have been able to adjust and carry on, and I thank you for that. I also want to check in with you to see how you are doing. I would love to hear about any tactics you are using to fight Zoom fatigue and any feelings of isolation. This is a team effort more than ever this semester, and I also want to know how my team is doing.

  • September 14, 2020

    The beginning of every week feels like one more small victory that brings us closer to our goal of completing a successful semester. I recognize the hard work and dedication that have gone into this effort on your part and I am really grateful to be your partner. As we continue to demonstrate respect and care for one another and for the extended William & Mary community, I want to remind everyone that it is paramount that we do not let up. My hope is that the health and safety protocols become part of our routine and that we can continue on this path forward.

  • September 7, 2020

    Labor Day, a holiday that pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers, is also a day that for many signifies an unofficial end of summer. With classes heading into the fourth week, I’d say this sentiment still lingers. However, this year, Labor Day has taken on a new meaning for me. I have seen the immense amount of labor each and every one of you has put in to make this year the best it can be. Your efforts have gotten us to where we are, and I am thankful for you all.

  • August 31, 2020

    The past week has had no shortage of news. As has been rare these days, we had several rays of light and optimism that I hope can give us all strength to meet the challenges ahead and positive energy as we prepare to fully reopen our campus next week.

  • August 24, 2020

    I want to start off this week by saying thank you. Thank you for remaining flexible and continuing to work hard during the first week of the semester.

  • August 17, 2020

    I know that the start of this academic year is not what any of us expected, and I want to acknowledge once more your hard work and flexibility as you have been adapting to changing conditions.