President’s Corner – Hang in there, Salve: The days are growing brighter
Dear Salve Regina,
I know it has been a difficult couple of weeks, with the pause of in-person learning and limitations in the residence and dining halls. We are all weary of the restrictions and the constant vigilance in order to remain healthy. It is a tough way to start the semester, and the winter cold doesn’t make it any easier when we look for ways to lift our spirits. In many ways, we are experiencing the opposite of last semester when we started the fall with relatively few cases during pleasant weather, but ended with darker days as the semester closed.
I predict that each week our lives will be a little easier when we are back in person on February 16. The days will become longer and warmer, and more people will become vaccinated, reducing the community spread of COVID-19. With the vaccine on the horizon, I’ve found myself even more impatient to put the pandemic behind us, like a small child who has been on a really long car ride but can finally see the promised destination off in the distance.
What keeps me hopeful are those brief but uplifting interactions with Salve Regina students, faculty and staff. I’m inspired by the perennial Salve Regina optimism and ways in which members of our campus community continue to look out for each other.
I’m also buoyed by the signs of light for our future — more applications from incoming freshmen for next fall, a high retention rate from our returning students and increasing confirmation through market data that our values are in sync with what the world needs, especially in these times. Soon we’ll be gearing up for our 75th anniversary, a time to celebrate all that we have accomplished as an institution and what lies ahead for Salve Regina’s future.
I know that there are moments of discouragement — how much longer will we need to teach in two modalities, make sure that we always have a mask on hand, and carry this burden of worry wherever we go? But let’s not forget that we’re halfway through February with springtime on our doorstep next month. Let’s not forget that we weathered last semester with so much grace despite the uncertainty.
Hang in there, Salve Regina. We will get to that lighter place soon, and all that we have endured will knit us together in stronger ways. I can’t wait to be fully in your good company again with lots of food, drink and music. Our reunion party will be epic!
I came across this quote from Catherine McAuley, and it reminded me of our community:
“The blessing of unity still dwells amongst us and oh what a blessing; it should make all else pass into nothing.”
Love to all,