Welcome to the Spring Semester: Hope During Difficult Times

Jan. 19, 2021

Dear Members of the University Community,

Welcome to the start of the spring semester. I hope you found moments of rest, renewal, and hope during our winter break.

The first day of classes is situated between two profoundly important celebrations: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States.

Despite what has been a dark and difficult year, and in spite of the challenges we face this semester, I find myself feeling a deep sense of hope; a sense that light is cresting over the horizon.

“We Shall Overcome,” an important anthem and meditation of the Civil Rights Movement, resonates particularly:

“Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe we shall overcome some day … we are not afraid … we are not alone … the whole wide world around some day … we shall overcome some day.”

In the face of insurrection, violence, and chaos, our democracy overcame. Against seemingly insurmountable odds, scientists overcame and produced a vaccine that is beginning to move into wide circulation across the country and around the globe. And with strong headwinds against us, we persevered through a semester of learning unlike any other last fall, fortifying us for the days and weeks ahead.

No doubt there are still difficult days ahead. We will need to continue to care for one another and this beautiful campus we all share. I know we can do it. We are not alone. May we continue to rely on one another, and on the power of our educational mission, to help us through these difficult times. I wish you good health and good spirits as our semester begins.

Continue to take good care of yourself and one another.


Ronald A. Crutcher