As one of the most perplexing and difficult semesters in memory draws to an end, I write now with some updates on the shape of the summer and the academic year to come.
Let me just begin by expressing, once again, our genuine gratitude for the extraordinary ways in which every member of the University community has responded to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, first and foremost, of course, our colleagues at the Medical Center. This has been a spring for the ages, and my deepest hope is that the goodwill and collective effort manifested in this crisis will continue to sustain us in the months and years ahead.
At this very moment, I am especially thinking of our graduating classes and of how our campus would ordinarily be filled with the anticipation of one of the most uplifting and magnificent academic ceremonies on the planet. Though we will all gather virtually for these milestone events, having to forego what we wish most for will only magnify the feelings of warm connection we will have in the years to come with the Class of 2020. As I plan to say on Commencement day, these strange and frightening times have most certainly deepened our collective appreciation of the University’s many vital roles in society, beginning with the search for fundamental knowledge and carried through to the care of humanity and the world.
As disjointed as this moment has come to feel, as filled as it is with deep uncertainties, we must move forward. I write first, then, about the state of our research.