April 10, 2020
Dear Reed staff,
Spring has arrived in all its glory this week, and I am certain that, like me, everyone feels the contrast between the beauty that surrounds us and the difficult times we are facing due to COVID-19. My heart goes out to you and yours as you care for loved ones, manage the many losses that come to us on a daily basis, and seek to maintain some semblance of ordinary life in the midst of this global pandemic.
As we persevere, I think about what it must have been like for William Trufant Foster, who was president of Reed during the 1918 flu pandemic that began a mere six and a half years after the college welcomed its first class. I find great strength and comfort in the fact that Reed has thrived for more than 100 years—even during times of great adversity. There is no doubt in my mind that this is thanks to the unwavering dedication of the Reed community.
I write to express my deepest gratitude for everything you have done over the past weeks to uphold Reed’s core values, often in new and innovative ways, and to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Through your efforts, we are moving forward. Although many of us are separated by the physical-distancing mandate, it is abundantly evident to me that you are working hard and balancing many challenges in your service to the college.
I know that we will get through this together, and when we arrive at the other side, it will be a joy to return to regular routines, to see each other on campus, to share stories of this trial we have faced, and to celebrate and comfort one another. It is my honor to work with you here at Reed, and I am inspired by your dedication to the college, to our students and faculty, and to the community.
I miss seeing all of you around campus, but I look forward to connecting with you virtually at an all-staff meeting on Wednesday, April 29, at 11 a.m. More information about plans to make the most of our time together is forthcoming. Until then, please take good care and be well.