Dear alumni and friends,
Over the past several weeks, we at the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and WVU, like the rest of the world, have undergone great changes in our lives. Indeed, the College and campus look and feel very different these days. In just a short period of time we have moved all on-campus courses to remote online instruction so our students could return to their homes and stay in place for the rest of the semester. We have also had to close hundreds of research laboratories and facilities. Sadly, we have also had to cancel or delay on-campus events, including a postponement of May Commencement.
Despite the challenges, I want to assure you that the indefatigable Mountaineer spirit is alive and well in the Eberly College. As the dean, I could not be more proud of those I serve and those I serve with. This highly complex, diverse and large academic college has helped lead the way in meeting the challenges this health crisis has posed to our educational mission. The faculty, staff and leadership both within and outside of Eberly have been incredible in their willingness to cooperate, collaborate and innovate. Finally, our wonderfully resilient students have demonstrated an eagerness to engage, a commitment to their academic goals and a determination to overcome challenges.
Still, we have a long way to go before campus life will return to normal, and many challenges lay ahead. Nonetheless, I have been thinking about what lessons we may draw from our current experiences. I cannot help but conclude that our mission will be more important than ever. This pandemic surely suggests that having people who are knowledgeable and willing to apply their knowledge to solve societal problems are vital. Thus, the value of a liberal arts and sciences education should be clear. It is through this educational process that we cultivate strong minds – ones that can spur scientific discovery, connect disparate sources of data to solve problems, create effective policy, provide compassionate and just assistance, and give purpose to our humanity.
This edition of the Eberly Magazine highlights many who are engaged in such work. Through research, instruction and outreach, our faculty and students are serving a call to better our communities and our world. With the support of WVU and people such as yourself, they remain able to do this crucial work. Thank you.
Despite our own challenges, there are many less fortunate individuals grappling with illness, caring for the ill or experiencing economic disruption and insecurity. We keep them, and each of you, in our thoughts. Now is an important time for us to rally, and I am grateful that this institution unites us with strength and purpose.
Be well and stay well.
Dean, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
West Virginia University