May 28, 2020
Dear Warrior Community,
As I reflect on this year, so many competing thoughts and feelings rush in. First, let’s all take a moment to stop, breathe in and exhale. Sometimes it’s hard to remember life before March, and yet we survived and made it to the end of a truly historic and different academic semester!
Every day, I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for each of you who have preserved, stayed positive and pivoted on a dime to cope with all of the many disruptive changes. I am so proud and honored to witness the strength and resilience of all our faculty, staff and students amidst the great challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I would love to say that things have returned to some sense of normalcy, but there is still much uncertainty as conditions continue to evolve. Without sounding trite, it is true that we have something very special here on our campus and in Turlock — we are so fortunate that we have a strong sense of community that binds us together during both good times and more difficult times. I am certain that we will continue to get through this together. As Warriors, that’s what we do. We rise to every challenge, support each other and stand together to overcome whatever obstacles we may encounter.
In a normal year, we would be preparing for two days of Commencement ceremonies celebrating our graduates. To our graduating seniors — this is your day. We honor and celebrate you. You have demonstrated resolve, initiative and optimism! I encourage each of you to continue to tap into the inner strength, determination and resourcefulness that has guided you through your Stan State journey. I can’t wait for the day when we will celebrate in grand style, and with great gusto, together with your family and friends.
Thank you to our dedicated faculty. Your willingness and swift response to transition and create a quality virtual and remote learning experience for our students was nothing short of heroic. Your ingenuity and courage to adapt and learn helped guide and reassure your students through this very complicated and complex moment in history.
I wish to extend a resounding, “Congratulations!” to the recipients of our 2019-2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards:
Dr. Edward Erickson
Department of Economics, Agriculture and Social Sciences
Outstanding Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity
Dr. Aletha Harven
Department of Psychology and Child Development
Outstanding Service in Faculty Governance
Dr. Steven Filling
Department of Accounting and Finance
Outstanding Community Service
Dr. Mark Grobner
Department of Biological Sciences
Elizabeth Anne B. Papageorge Faculty Development Award
Dr. Sebastián Sclofsky
Department of Criminal Justice
To our exceptional and talented staff — thank you for your responsiveness and support helping to transition the majority of University services and learning to be offered in online and virtual formats. Your attentiveness to faculty and student needs guided our paths as we traversed this sometimes-rough terrain.
Finally, thank you to everyone who contributed to the Stan State Campus Cares initiative, including the Student Emergency Fund and the Warrior Fund Pantry. Through your contributions, we raised more than $94,305.34 benefitting more than 1,000 individual students this semester. These donations allowed us to safeguard our students’ basic needs and provide them with much needed support so they could stay focused on their education. I am deeply grateful for the generosity of those individuals who chose to give to these funds — thank you for demonstrating a spirit of caring and support for our students.
Spring of 2020 will forever go down in the annals of history as a time of unparalleled change, but our University came together as a community to cope with these monumental and continually evolving transitions. So many of you have and are continuing to reach out to your students, and to each other, to check in, and to show your care and support. You have been instrumental in our ability to weather this storm with strength, dignity, compassion and calm action. In sum, be proud of what we’ve accomplished this semester! Relax, breathe and allow yourself to be in this moment. Thanks for all of your hard work. I will see you soon.