Dear Adelphi Family,
Our entire community has very quickly found itself in the midst of a world pandemic. These are rapidly changing, unpredictable and difficult times—unprecedented in the modern age. The challenge to the Adelphi family and indeed to universities across the nation is how we will rise to the challenge, remain committed to our goals, and stay supportive as a community. I recognize the very real impacts the coronavirus (COVID-19) are having on you and everyone, literally everywhere.
I find myself in the position of asking much of you–our students and families, faculty, staff and administration, and our leadership: to be resilient, committed, strong and patient. I am dedicated to protecting the safe haven that we all trust to be a home away from home, and to ensuring that Adelphi continues to deliver on our mission—providing a world-class and uniquely personalized education for our students.
There is currently remarkable stress and pressure on you, and all of us right now, as a University community, a state and a nation. There is not only a rising and intimidating risk of illness to each of us and our loved ones; there is a significant disruption to our lives and foreseeable plans.
I thank you for your patience while we work out the details of what our remote learning environment looks like for all of us. As these new circumstances unfold and change quickly, I acknowledge it feels unsettling at times. Please be assured that Adelphi University will navigate all these new challenges and learn with you—all while supporting your success.
During this time of uncertainty and rapid change, we are committed to these principles:
- We will ensure the health and safety of our community.
- We will continue to offer our students world-class academics.
- We will maintain continuously high-quality operations.
- We will remain a connected and caring community.
We cannot know what the next phase of this pandemic will bring us. We do not know how long it will take to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that we can all return to normalcy and resume our long-planned goals in the way we pictured them. What we do know for sure is that we will all learn and embrace new ways of doing things, and we will succeed as an Adelphi family, using each other as support.
Students, no doubt you had some spring break plans that had to be modified. You are probably wondering about making up assignments and exams and what your classes will look like in an online format—especially labs, performance, art and others. Most of our resident students have returned home unexpectedly and are now wondering when they will be able to return to their home away from home. Some of our residents and international students cannot safely return to their homes in this time of uncertainty and are worried. For so many of you the experiences you all worked hard for and planned this semester have been canceled or postponed. I know all these developments have upended your expectations for Spring 2020. As always, the Adelphi community will come together to help ensure your success and goals as we weather together these events that are beyond all our control.
Student-athletes, many of you were in the middle of amazing spring seasons or on the cusp of playoffs and championship games. Many of you will not get to play your championship games because of NCAA decisions made to protect you and to help stop the spread of the virus. I am joined by many who share your heartbreak and disappointment. Please know that the Panther family is always inspired by and proud of your accomplishments, camaraderie and winning spirit.
Seniors, I know your final semester at Adelphi has been disrupted and probably is far from what you imagined it would be. You should know that our leadership, staff and all your professors and mentors are working hard to ensure you celebrate the completion of your Adelphi journey–and are looking forward to sharing it with you! No matter what happens over the course of these challenges, your Panther family salutes your accomplishments and encourages you to keep your eyes on the finish line—we will all help you reach it.
Parents and families, your patience and confidence continue to be invaluable. Many of you have shared messages of your faith in Adelphi’s commitment to your students, their well-being and their success. Thank you for your willingness to trust us and to see beyond the current challenging climate to the path ahead.
Faculty, there is no doubt that our students are in good hands as we continue their world-class learning experiences in new and creative ways, from remote locations and in distance formats until we can get back to our classrooms and the safety of our Adelphi home. You have shown outstanding dedication to our mission of educating students with the highest standards under the most extraordinary circumstances. Thank you for pivoting quickly, accepting the challenge and mentoring our students through this experience.
Staff and administration, I appreciate your deep compassion for our students and each other. You are taking on these changes and new challenges with confidence and pride, finding creative solutions to maintain continuity in a time that challenges the way we are used to working. Your leadership and flexibility is greatly admired.
Leadership, I thank you for the remarkable speed and professionalism with which you have responded to quickly prepare all of Adelphi University for the unknown challenges of the months ahead.
We have received hundreds of emails over the past few days conveying a true mix of emotions: anger, uncertainty, disappointment, worry and gratitude. In light of the fact that we are all experiencing a global pandemic together at the same time, I want to remind our Adelphi family of the caring community that we are. I continue to ask that you take care of one another and show compassion and understanding.
Lastly, I would like to share a snippet of one very real email from a parent that made me feel especially proud of our Adelphi family and the community we have built together:
We feel that Adelphi is a safe place for our child, and that you have all the students’ best interest at heart. Please tell your faculty that all the hard work they are doing to transform classroom instruction to online and virtual is greatly appreciated. We know the student body will work hard to keep up their end of this learning challenge.
As we move forward as a community and continue to make difficult–and, at times, heartbreaking–decisions, please know that we have your best interest and safety at heart. I promise that we will keep you informed and supported. Please stay tuned to your emails and to our information page at adelphi.edu/coronavirus.
Thank you again for your patience, for being good to each other, and for keeping our Adelphi spirit alive, even while physically separated.
All the best,
Christine M. Riordan, PhD