Monday Moments with President Bergman: April 27, 2020

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on April 27th, 2020 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

It is hard to believe that over a month has passed since almost all students left campus, online instruction commenced, and Governor Walz issued a “Stay at Home” order for Minnesota. These are monumental events that will eventually be recorded in history books, and right now they are our daily reality. I trust that you are well, and I hope that you are finding new routines to support your wellbeing during these times of uncertainty and change.

I have been inspired by the variety of ways that Gusties have been connecting with each other and with our students, in spite of the fact that we are rarely seeing each other face-to-face. Being in community is important to us, and we are finding new and creative ways to help each other keep our “Gustie Spirit” alive and well. I am especially proud of the many new and creative ways we are supporting our students. Examples are abundant, and here are a few:
  • Our Student Life staff are individually checking in with each Gustavus student about their transition to online learning and ways the College can help.
  • Care packages are being assembled and delivered to our 75 students who are living on campus.
  • In addition to teaching classes, our faculty are spending time with their advisees to discuss their plans for fall registration.
  • Gustavus staff in the Academic Support Center, Counseling Center, and Health Service continue to support our students’ academic needs and holistic wellbeing through video meetings, telecounseling, and telehealth appointments.
  • The Center for Career Development is holding virtual appointments with Gustavus seniors. They are also developing remote summer internship opportunities to replace or supplement internships impacted by COVID-19.
  • Plans are underway for a virtual Honors Day celebration, and ideas are emerging as to how we might commemorate the graduation of our seniors, even though we will not be gathering for an on-campus commencement ceremony on May 30.
I have greatly appreciated receiving a number of uplifting and encouraging notes from members of our Gustavus community, including alumni and parents. These notes invariably remind me how important it is that we continue to reach out to each other, support each other, and reinforce the importance of community. We are a community that truly cares for each other and for the mission that gives us purpose. Together we are a strong and mighty force that is able to tackle unforeseen challenges with confidence and vigor. That is the Gustavus I know and love, and that is the Gustavus I have seen in the midst of uncertainty and change. Thank you!

I miss seeing all of you. Be well, my friends.

Yours in community,

Becky

 

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