February 12, 2016
To the Ursinus community,
This has been a remarkably unusual last few days for our campus because so many have been impacted by the illness. This has been a particularly trying time, but we’ve made significant progress the past two days as we focused on the well-being of our faculty, staff and students. Under the recommendation of the Montgomery County Department of Health, Wismer Dining Hall has re-opened for dinner this evening, even as we took the unusual step of cancelling class for the remainder of the week. I believe the measures we’ve taken will help to reduce the possibility of further illnesses. We will continue to work with our communications team to keep you informed as we move ahead.
This has been a remarkable last few days for other reasons as well. I have been so impressed with our students and the resiliency they have shown during the past several challenging days. Ursinus can be proud of the staff and faculty volunteers that have allowed the college to run smoothly under such uncertainty. Finally, I really appreciate the local community that has been supportive by donating time, food and their energy that has allowed us to sustain ourselves.
It is times like these that we see who we really are. I have heard stories of faculty bringing chicken soup to students, one student volunteer taking 46 different emergency responses, staff staying up all night assisting the ill, and cleaning teams scouring residence halls and cafeterias top to bottom over and over again. Should you choose to stay away from work tomorrow, know that we greatly appreciate the time and energy you’ve invested in this campus this week. We understand your decision to see to your own well-being, much like you have for our students.
I know I have only been a part of the community for almost eight short months but I can say without a doubt that I am both proud and humbled to be included as a member, let alone your president. I admire our ability to experience such a challenge and to confront it with class and alacrity.