Welcome to Spring!
Welcome to the first full week of spring! I have certainly appreciated the beautiful spring weather this weekend. It is hard to believe that a year ago last week, we sent the majority of our students home and began learning, teaching and working remotely, for what we thought might be two to four weeks. A year later, here we are. Some of our students are still learning fully online, some of our faculty are still teaching fully online, and many of our staff are still working from home.
During the past year, I have often found myself in the deficit mind set — what have we lost? What have we not experienced? And there are many of those, including the loss of friends and loved ones, missed experiences and opportunities. Yet, last week, with a little prod from Richmond colleague Joe Hoyle, I found myself reflecting on what we gained, what we learned during the pandemic that we wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I think I learned patience. I learned to enjoy more “regular” events, like dinner with my partner at home. And, I learned how well we could engage so many Albright alumni using technology.
And, during this past year, even during the pandemic, Albright has not stood still — we have moved significantly forward, and we have much to celebrate!
- The men’s basketball team overcame the challenges of competing during the pandemic and won the MAC Commonwealth championship last week!
- Led by our Advancement team, we broke records with our Sixth Annual Albright Challenge last week, engaging more than 1,000 donors and raising over $160,000 for scholarships, programs, and athletic teams.
- Our spring and fall sports are and will be competing this spring. And our women’s basketball team won their MAC crossover game, contributing to the tromping that the MAC Commonwealth gave to the MAC Freedom teams in the crossover competition.
- This entire year, Ibi Bangura, Beth Kiester, and Janice Luck have been organizing and facilitating regular Race and Reconciliation Panels, which have provided opportunity for important discussions among our community members.
- The Science Research Institute has gotten off to a strong start, and has programs that integrate many Albright academic departments, including fashion, music industry studies, marketing, sports management, and many more.
Yes, we have much to celebrate, including a special day we are planning to celebrate Albright’s voices. #EmpoweringAlbrightVoices, a series of events and celebrations, will be on April 7-8. I encourage your participation in one or more of the events being held on these days, which can be found on the Albright website: https://www.albright.edu/about-albright/inclusivity/empowering-albright-voices/. Of course, our work to empower Albright voices should not be pinned down to a single day. Our inclusivity and equity work spans a range of initiatives, from antiracism training for faculty and staff, to an examination of higher education hiring practices, and individual mentoring of students for success in college and life. We have a number of amazing upcoming Experience Event opportunities — I encourage you to participate and hope that you will encourage your students to participate as well:
- April 12 @ 4 p.m. – COVID-19’s impact on vulnerable populations
- April 15 @ 4 p.m. – Symbols of the Insurrection
- April 14 @ 7 p.m. – “Letters from the Last Pandemic” author
- May 6 @ 6 p.m. – “Madan Sara” screening and discussion
- May 18 @ 4 p.m. – Spancake: Political Discourse in America
As we move towards the end of Session 1 in the spring semester, please continue to be safe. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel, please continue to follow our Community Care Compact. I wish each of you a healthy, safe and successful last weeks of this session.
Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry