The start of a new semester, like the start of a new year, carries with it so much promise. What will we learn? Who will we meet? How will we, as individuals and as the Salem community, change the world? Perhaps most importantly, how will this semester of learning, growth, and engagement change each one of us?
This semester, though, feels different. How can we embrace a new start when so many of 2020’s troubles still loom large? The COVID-19 pandemic rages out of control while vaccine distribution lags. Unrest in our nation’s capital mars our democratic traditions. Political discord leaves many of us feeling distanced from family and friends. Widespread misinformation, and disinformation, makes it harder to know who to trust, or what to believe.
We also enter this semester needing to refresh ourselves. For nearly a year, we have been living through a once-in-a-century global catastrophe. We have suffered tremendous losses and been alienated from our usual support networks at the very time when we need them most. Never underestimate the toll that takes on us—body, mind, and soul. Please know that Salem faculty and staff are here to support you however we can.
We are living through a momentous period in history and it is my deep hope that this semester at Salem will help us all to forge greater connections and strengthen our sense of purpose and resiliency. May your studies be a respite. May your education help you make sense of these troubled times. May your camaraderie with other students remind you that you are not alone.
May you remember, always, that we are Salem.
Interim Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
Dean of the College