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Thank You Volunteers

Dear Volunteer community,

As we head into a long weekend and the final few weeks of our semester, I want you to say thank you to each of you for your incredible work in extremely challenging circumstances. Your dedication and sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.

For our students, this transition has meant learning in an entirely new way, navigating new forms of communication with classmates, professors, and advisors, and missing out on treasured experiences.

For our faculty and staff, it has meant making tremendous adjustments to redesign courses, learn new technologies, and provide additional support to our students—commitments that I know are greater for those who carry large teaching loads. So many of you are doing this work while also balancing the needs of your families at home.

I see you and I see your hard work. We are doing our best to protect the physical health of our community, and we also know that this is hard and unsustainable. Now is a time for grace and flexibility over perfection, and I have been inspired by how you have cared for one another.

Over the past couple of weeks, more than 300 faculty and staff volunteers have been making phone calls to students to check in and make sure they’re OK. Our goal is to personally reach out to every one of our 29,000 students this semester. It’s a moving gesture that speaks to who we are as a Volunteer community.

In that same spirit, I want to make sure all of you—our faculty, staff, and students—are OK.

We continue to look for ways to do more to help support you. I appreciate the feedback and comments many of you have sent to me directly and in response to the provost’s survey. We read them all and use them to improve. Please keep in touch and let me know what you need from me and my team.

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Donde Plowman