A Message from the President: A Difficult Year and Hope

Office of the President

Dear Graduate Center colleagues,

One year has passed since we transitioned to remote instruction in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community has weathered much, yet persevered. As we reflect on how the world changed and what lies ahead, we remember with sorrow the family, friends, and colleagues we have lost. We honor the strength of essential staff and first responders everywhere, and are grateful for the tireless efforts of our essential workers at The Graduate Center — and indeed of all of our alumni, faculty, staff, and students — to keep everyone safe. We acknowledge with thanks the generosity and kindness you have shown to so many among and around us who have faced financial and other hardships.

In March 2020, a lot was asked of us: to pivot quickly to remote learning; to protect ourselves and others, often based on conflicting and confusing information; and to physically distance while figuring out how to maintain ties with one another. As the year went on, we confronted racial injustices and challenges to democracy. Isolation and anxiety taxed us all.

New variants of the COVID-19 virus continue to emerge and spread, so challenges remain. But, as more of us are vaccinated, and if we continue to follow recommendations to wear masks and maintain physical distance, we can look forward in the coming months to returning to classrooms and labs, resuming fieldwork, graduating, and finding meaningful work.

Through trust in the science, research, and one another, we have sustained our community, teaching, and scholarship, and we have found new ways to connect with the world. Thank you for your hard work, for supporting each other, and for your ingenuity in the face of adversity. These are the hallmarks of a remarkable community. I encourage you to honor the fortitude and stamina that have sustained you on this journey, and to appreciate your achievements and contributions during this extraordinary time.

Even as we emerge from the pandemic, your health and welfare remain top priorities. Please take advantage of the counseling services and emergency grants for students and the support services for faculty and staff.

The Graduate Center has surmounted many challenges throughout its 60 years, and our future is strong. I am proud to be a member of a community that continues to learn, to care, to create, to discover, and to advance equity and justice.

With best wishes,
Robin L. Garrell

Submitted on: MAR 12, 2021

Category: COVID-19 | GCstories | General GC News | President's Office - Community Message