One Rensselaer

March 17, 2020
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, Professor of Engineering Sciences

Given the coronavirus global pandemic, and our necessary responses to it, we are moving into a world of uncharted waters — one that none of us have experienced before. We are entering new territories that bring uncertainty, distress, and confusion. We can take strength, however, from the fact that, as a community, we always have lived the Rensselaer spirit of innovation and perseverance. I know that spirit will see us through these challenging times. These challenges also have brought out the best in our community. I thank all of you for your courageousness in the unknown, and your adaptability to the changing landscape.  

I would like to thank the students for your resilience. Departing the campus in mid-semester, adjusting to a new method of learning — away from your campus social circles, is not easy, and yet you have done it with remarkable aplomb. 

I would like to thank the faculty for your tireless efforts, on short notice, to reimagine your curricula for online and remote delivery, ensuring still the best possible education for our students. Stephen Van Rensselaer and Amos Eaton would be proud of your ingenuity, resourcefulness, and cooperation, as am I. Thank you for being a wave of calm and support for our students, and for remaining readily accessible to them.  

To the staff, I thank you for working diligently to ensure that the campus is able to continue the business of the university, even as we learn to work in new ways. Some of us are taking on new responsibilities unexpectedly, or learning new tasks on short notice. All of this is being done in a spirit of willingness to support the greater good.

During this time, I ask that we continue to support one another, as we always have done.   

We all look forward to a time when life returns to normal. It may be a new normal, but we will emerge stronger, bolder, and more resilient than ever before. That is our spirit. 

We are One Rensselaer.  

Be well. 

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