Spring Semester Message from President Starr (1/18/22)

Dear Pomona College Community,

I’m writing to welcome you to the first day of class for the spring semester. Whether you are on campus, in transit, working remotely or a student away for a few more days, please know that we value your presence in our community, one that will endure and thrive far beyond this moment.

This semester is starting with another turn in the COVID-19 pandemic, as the world grapples with the surge of cases brought on by the highly infectious Omicron variant. Our community rose to the challenge last semester, and earlier on in the pandemic, and I know we will do so again.

While the pandemic continues to shift and evolve, our core commitments remain:

We will work together to protect one another. We have learned much over the last two years, and our multi-layered public health strategy will continue with vaccination (including boosters), testing and masks.

We will press ahead with our vital academic mission. We know a Pomona liberal arts education opens up countless possibilities, and the intellectual engagement on our campus sparks positive change for individuals and the wider world.

We will continue to foster community. Even as we follow public safety protocols, we recognize how central relationships are to a Pomona education, and this semester we will emphasize small-scale community held outdoors whenever possible to help keep everyone connected in creative ways.

We will look beyond our own gates to help build a better future. Pomona holds a unique place in creating opportunity in American higher education, and even amid this pandemic we will push forward with our work in this area, building new partnerships and pathways to multiply our impact.

In this time of disruption, I want to recognize the many members of our extended global community of alumni, families and supporters who have worked so tirelessly in their fields to steady our world and help others. I am grateful. I also want to thank our faculty and staff for your commitment and creativity in the face of many challenges. Finally, let me salute our students for your flexibility and thoughtfulness. You, as a community, inspire me every day.

I welcome you to a new semester of learning, even as we face the strains of the pandemic in the days and weeks ahead. Our mission holds enduring meaning at this moment, and I'm glad you are with us.

 

With best wishes,
Gabi