March 12, 2020 at 3:42 p.m.
To St. Olaf College faculty and staffFrom David R. Anderson, President Of The College
Thank you for displaying calm and patience while we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The college cares about you, your safety, and your well-being. St. Olaf isn’t just a place where you come to work: it’s a community where students live, study, play, and grow together and where faculty and staff support them and each other. That’s why our response to the current pandemic must always focus on what’s best for our community.
Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is guided by the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by the Minnesota Department of Health. They have the expertise and experience to give us the best advice going forward. We are also mindful of our commitment to provide — as best we are able under the current circumstances — to our students the experience they came to St. Olaf to enjoy, especially our seniors, who want to graduate together on campus in the company of their family, friends, and supporters rather than virtually in their room at home.
Our college has survived 145 years by displaying wisdom, prudence, trust, determination, and resilience in the face of several challenges. Working together, we will weather this crisis.
In the meantime, I ask two things of you. The first is that you pay careful attention to the college’s COVID-19 web page. It is updated regularly, and its FAQ page contains the answers to many of the questions you may have and other updates will be provided today. The second, and most important, is that all of us take special care of ourselves and of each other. This isn’t the time for suspicion, profiling, or anger. We didn’t choose to be affected by COVID-19, but we can choose how we respond as a community to it. Let’s be our best selves. Oles can. Oles will.
David R. Anderson ’74