To the Seneca alumni community:
I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well.

As more of the province and country reopen, we continue to hear many stories of Seneca alumni who are on the front lines of the response to COVID-19. To all of you, we cannot thank you enough. We are proud of you and your work.
Last month we all had a huge hole in the calendar – the postponement of the Spring Convocation ceremonies. We would have celebrated more than 9,000 graduates over 14 ceremonies. We miss the joy of those ceremonies, witnessed by proud family members, friends and Seneca faculty and staff.

However, we are slowly, cautiously and safely moving forward. As I write this message, the team at Seneca is getting ready to welcome a few students back to campus for the first time in nearly four months. In mid-July, about 100 students who need to complete practical elements of their program to graduate will return to our labs and learning spaces.

We are delighted to see students returning to campus along with the faculty and staff to help them graduate, but it will be far from the usual hustle and bustle of crowded hallways and lineups at Tim Hortons. Physical distancing, personal protective equipment and increased cleaning and disinfection will be the order of the day.
The health and safety of the entire Seneca community is the single most important consideration as we continue to navigate through the pandemic response.
That’s why we decided to remain a virtual organization for the summer semester, with all programs and services being delivered online. In the fall, what we can be delivered online will stay online, but we will be offering more in-person labs in those programs that absolutely require them.

Our faculty and staff have done a remarkable job of moving as many courses and services as possible online, and offering them with high levels of engagement and quality. Fortunately, we started with a strong technological foundation and a broad commitment to putting student needs first.

There are many ways you as alumni could help us support the students who are following in your footsteps. Volunteer as a mentor or guest speaker to enhance their student experience. Provide project-based, remote work-integrated-learning opportunities. Make a donation to our COVID Relief Fund providing financial assistance to students.

We are truly grateful for any help you can provide to our students during these unprecedented times. We are stronger together.

Like many organizations, COVID-19 has transformed Seneca. We are doing things differently, even in areas where we were told an online approach would not work. Our focus is turning to renewal and we recently announced the Seneca Au Large project. It’s named after our founding president’s oft-cited phrase, translated as To the Horizon.
Seneca has both the opportunity and the need to examine what we do and how we do it in the context of our core mission of offering a great polytechnic education. Drawing on the ideas, energy and resilience of our community, the Au Large project will recommend how we can emerge from the pandemic with a renewed sense of mission and purpose, eyes always on the horizon.

Exciting times are ahead.

Speaking of renewal, after the spring we all had, I hope you will also find some time this summer to rest and renew.

Take care and stay safe.
David Agnew