Congratulations. We got through winter courses, completed exams, started spring sessions as online-only, and we congratulated our Class of 2020 from afar. I hope you take a moment to recognize your part in making all this possible, your ability to adapt, and your achievements!
There are now more than 4 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide. To do our part, we are staying home and adjusting our teaching, research, and service delivery. It is uncharted territory. Many members of our community - students, faculty, staff, and alumni - are on the front lines or sharing their talents to help others. Thank you.
April took a toll as tragedy struck during a shooting rampage in rural Nova Scotia that abruptly ended 22 lives. It was a painful blow, made worse with the news that the RCMP officer lost was an alumna. Her story is quintessential Acadia. She discovered her passion as a student on our campus. News of her death reminded us of how precious life is and how important our families are.
I am prouder than ever to be a part of the leadership team at Acadia and part of this community. Amidst this unprecedented time, we've created ways to help students in the Acadia family with extra help and new emergency bursaries and awards. We are also focusing on how we move forward this fall. While the global health crisis will be a test, we are committed to working with you to pass it.
In the face of so much uncertainty, we do know this - there is tremendous value in Acadia's personalized education and the campus community we know and love. We will ensure that Acadia continues to offer that personal “touch” to provide experiential learning and research opportunities no matter the format. In the coming weeks, we will make the difficult decisions required to ensure that Acadia can navigate through this dark time and be in a strong position to recover.
We continue to seek government support to help us weather this storm by offsetting revenue losses that have been and will continue to be incurred as a direct result of the pandemic. Ultimately, operational decisions will be driven by health and safety considerations dictated by the success of Nova Scotia's pandemic containment efforts.
Our community's collective strength is how Acadia has managed to pivot to alternative delivery of our spring and summer courses. It's also how we are working through scenarios for the fall, and planning a future in-person celebration with our Class of 2020. In the meantime, their diplomas are in their way, and so are our grads!
Always remember, you are part of an institution with a long, rich history of rising to challenges. Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and resolve as we find our way forward. Enjoy the long weekend ahead.
Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor