End-of-semester message from President Book

President Connie Ledoux Book offered a video message to students, faculty and staff on the last day of classes for Fall Semester 2020.

The text of President Connie Ledoux Book’s Nov. 23 video message to students, faculty and staff. 

We made it Elon!

We are nearing the end of a semester unlike any other in our history. And today, I’m grateful.

I’m grateful for the students who woke up every day, put on their masks, and took on the challenges of learning and growing, adapting every day with a positive spirit.

I’m grateful for faculty members who learned how to teach and mentor students in new ways, never compromising on academics, but adding an even greater level of care and compassion.

I’m grateful to the staff who adapted our campus, technology and operations with safety as the top priority and then went above and beyond — caring for students who were in quarantine, tracking their health, bringing them meals, helping them succeed.

And I’m grateful to our parents and family members who put their faith in Elon, offered constant support, and understood that everyone was doing their best in a difficult situation.

So yes, this was a semester of challenge, learning and profound growth. Now, I ask that you stay focused on succeeding in final exams, and then take a deep breath and relax. Reconnect with loved ones. Renew your mind, body and spirit. Take care of yourself as we prepare for what’s ahead.

Now here’s what’s exciting about being a good learner: You change. You become an even better version of yourself.

So when we return for Winter Term and Spring Semester, we are going to take what we’ve learned and do several things differently. We’ll be better at containing the virus and keeping our community healthy and safe.

We now have access to the testing resources we need. So beginning in January, we will test everyone on their return to campus, then test half the student body each week to help us find cases early and avoid the surges we saw this fall.

We also learned more about behaviors that can transmit the virus, so we are asking all students to recommit to wearing their masks outside their rooms, especially when they are with groups of people, even small groups. It’s the most important thing we can do right now, and we need to be much more disciplined about this.

And we’ve learned how to create healthy opportunities for students to connect with others, build friendships and be involved in student organizations. We CAN do these things if we plan carefully and take the right precautions.

There is more to share about changes planned for Winter and Spring. So please read the emails we’ll send to keep you informed and go to the Ready & Resilient website before heading back to campus.

Elon’s community is distinct. We work hard…celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes always with the goal of progress. Together we successfully navigated the fall semester and come the new year we will be back again with an even safer and more engaging winter and spring terms.

But for now, celebrate having successfully brought the fall semester to a close.

My sincere best wishes to you and your family for a safe and joyous holiday season. I look forward to saying goodbye to 2020 and seeing you all on campus in a bright new 2021.