Dear Faculty and Staff: The resurgence of the COVID-19 virus around our country is intensifying on the heels of holiday travel and gatherings. Here in Onondaga County, we are experiencing rising infection rates and an uptick in hospitalizations. In response,…
Giving Thanks for Your COVID-19 Response
Dear Members of the Orange Community:
As the fall semester winds down, I am reflecting on the challenges everyone in the University has had to address this year. I am heartened and humbled by the way our community has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is your grace, resilience and determination that defied the odds and made this fall semester possible.
That same Orange spirit will lead us into the spring semester. You can expect updates throughout the next two months as we plan to resume residential instruction on Jan. 25. As always, we will follow public health guidance as the situation with the virus evolves. Know that our planning is well underway.
It took so much to get us to where we are today. In a year of hardships, there are so many who merit thanks.
I give thanks for the way the vast majority of our students rose to the occasion this semester. They exercised good health practices. They quarantined and isolated when asked. They were resilient in the face of a very difficult set of circumstances. For the most part, they did everything we asked of them. And they did all of this while remaining focused on their academics.
I give thanks for our faculty who performed their many duties seemingly without skipping a beat. They made it look easy. I know it was not. They challenged our students in new ways, using different technologies and unfamiliar formats. They continued to pursue their research, scholarship and creative work.
I give thanks for our staff who provided exceptional care to our students. They sourced personal protective equipment, delivered meals and provided solace to students during the most challenging of times. They did all this while caring for loved ones, supervising small children or remote schooling, and coping with isolation.
I give thanks for the scores of people who kept our campus and our 15,000 students in Syracuse safe. Under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Haynie, the Syracuse University Public Health Team, the faculty experts, the student contact tracers and so many others worked so hard to create and sustain a safe living and learning environment. Throughout the semester, they oversaw testing and tracing, quarantining and isolation. Our staff from Enrollment and the Student Experience, Auxiliary Services, Facilities and the Department of Public Safety are among the many who worked day and night to make this semester possible. It was a Herculean effort, and I am so proud to work with this extraordinary team.
Together, all of you defied expectations and kept our school going. I therefore give thanks most of all for all of you. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday. And I look forward to welcoming you back to campus in 2021!
Chancellor Kent Syverud