As we near the end of this remote Spring Quarter, the stress and anxiety that are typical as finals week approaches are compounded by worries associated with the ongoing global pandemic. Moreover, we continue to witness horrifically troubling and violent acts of racism perpetrated against people of color across our nation -- in particular, against members of our African American and Black communities. It is important that we each take time to reflect on what we and our fellow Tritons are experiencing, to acknowledge the impact, and to offer one another as much understanding and compassion as possible in this moment.
You have seen the expressions of support, outrage, and grief from our own UC San Diego leadership , as well as from the University of California Office of the President and the Academic Council .  While words alone cannot heal historical traumas or dismantle structural racism, our campus's emphasis on developing students who are capable of leading and innovating in a diverse and interconnected world supports a path toward a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

Amidst the challenges and heartbreak we have been experiencing, I am continually impressed with the innovation, dedication and resilience of our faculty, who have provided extraordinary examples of gracefully pivoting into a remote classroom environment. Similarly, I’d like to extend my deep appreciation to the staff of the Registrar’s Office, who very quickly re-built the Fall 2020 schedule from scratch with new course modalities that allowed students to plan their Fall quarter around a mix of courses taught in person or a remote format.

In the coming week, UC San Diego will graduate more than 9,000 students and recognize their accomplishment through a series of online graduation exercises leading to our Virtual Commencement 2020 on June 13 . Commencement represents the culmination of tremendous, sustained achievement by our students, often in the face of significant personal or financial challenges. I hope this year's Virtual Commencement can be a moment of joy and hope for us all.
As the Spring 2020 quarter comes to a close, I would like to reiterate my respect and admiration for the faculty and staff on our campus. These last few months have challenged us all to be compassionate, creative, thoughtful and resilient. Thank you for everything that we have achieved together as Tritons.

-Elizabeth H. Simmons