If all goes well, the fall 2020 semester will be described in years to come as the heart of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The novel coronavirus that interrupted the spring 2020 semester at the midpoint will, if we are fortunate, fade throughout the spring 2021 semester as the vaccine becomes available. And in the future, many of us will forever segment our lives as the time before and the time after the pandemic.
But for now, we are still living through the pandemic, and on Saturday, Dec. 12, we will celebrate our second class of graduates who completed their degree during these difficult times. Our graduates will face challenges during these times, but they face those challenges with a stellar educational credential that has shown its worth in previous recessions (see graph).
As we congratulate graduating students, we also recognize the challenges our continuing students face. Over 2,500 students started at NMSU this semester as new freshmen or transfers. Their university experience has been very different from fall semesters of the past, and our incoming students transitioned to an educational environment that required a greater level of discipline and flexibility. Another 10,000 additional students at NMSU faced similar challenges as they continued their education.
We are deeply grateful to every student who is investing their pandemic time at NMSU. We cannot be an educational institution without students, and your commitment to that education is also a commitment to our collective future. Our overarching goal since March has been to create an environment that protects the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community while empowering our students to continue their academic progress. This goal would be futile without students making the wise choice to complete their degree. This pandemic crisis will eventually pass, but students will keep this investment in education forever, and we will continue to make student success our No. 1 goal.
Upcoming town hall
Our final town hall webinar of 2020 will be
3:00 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and will be dedicated entirely to COVID-19. It will feature:
- Special guest Dr. David Scrase, secretary of New Mexico Health and Human Services Department, on higher education and SARS-CoV-2
- Lessons learned from last semester, presented by Dr. Ruth Johnston, vice chancellor and chief COVID-19 officer
- An update on vaccines, by Dr. Kathryn Hanley, Regents Professor of biology
- NMSU contributions to vaccine distribution, by NMSU police Chief Stephen Lopez
- Other updates on the spring 2021 semester
Feedback is always welcome at President.Floros@nmsu.edu.
Be Bold, Be Kind, Be Safe.