Fall 2021 President's Message: "An Even Stronger Sense of Unity"
As we begin the fall semester, it is wonderful to see our campuses brimming with students, faculty, and staff energized by the in-person interactions that we have all missed. For some of our returning undergraduate and graduate students, this fall marks their first time on our campuses, and we are ready to actively support them. Whether you are learning or working on campus or remotely, I am pleased to welcome all of our new and returning students, faculty, and staff to Widener.
Thanks to your compliance with our vaccination policy, we are a very highly vaccinated community ready to return to the in-person experiences that complement this transformational education. While we must remain vigilant about following CDC guidance – particularly regarding masking indoors and staying at home when we are sick – there is reassurance in knowing the students, faculty and staff will be at 100 percent compliance with our vaccination policy this month. Widener will always make safety the first priority.
We begin the new year with an even stronger sense of unity, forged by the experiences of the past 18 months. Our We’re All Widener identity is reflected in increased diversity among our students. One third of our incoming undergraduate class and nearly half of our new faculty are people of color, and we have historically diverse incoming classes at both law schools. Our We’re all Widener commitment is reflected in the growing number of Widener students who are the first in their families to pursue a higher education. And, it is reflected in our outstanding staff and faculty, who put students at the center of everything they do.
Widener’s commitment to agility and to providing an outstanding student experience is stronger than ever. We enter this fall with smarter processes and programs in place that are increasing satisfaction and efficiency, such as providing paperless financial operations, offering staff flexible work options, and mobilizing faculty, staff, and students into success teams that provide individualized support for new students.
And now, we must redouble our efforts to ensure students benefit from all the things that make their Widener degrees so valuable: hands-on learning experiences, like co-ops and internships, faculty mentorship and research opportunities, and powerhouse programs that put them on the inside track to success. Together, faculty and staff continue to empower our community of learners to discover and create better futures so our students can realize their dreams.
Let’s appreciate every moment of this extraordinary fall, together.