Dear friends and colleagues,
We are done with the semester, and, as is probably the case for most of you, I confess that it was probably our most challenging ever.
I’m incredibly proud of how we did. Our students and faculty rose to the challenge of transferring our programs online and of learning in unprecedented circumstances. Our students persisted in spite of the many concerns and distractions of trying to learn during a global pandemic. Our faculty delivered a different and also valuable educational experience. Our staff managed to keep our support systems running smoothly. I’m also thankful for all the support we received from our alumni, industry friends, and donors.
And, we succeeded. We finished design projects and portfolios, received grants and promotions, participated in internships, and won awards. Our seniors graduated, and we celebrated together. We and they will remember these unusual college experiences for a lifetime.
Now, we’re busy preparing for a fall that remains uncertain. We have more questions than answers, and none of us know how COVID-19 is going to behave. I miss our students’ energy and smiles in Carpenter and Daggy Halls, and I so look forward to seeing them back in the classroom as soon as possible.
As we plan, please know that our first and foremost concern will always be our students’ safety, success, and mental and physical health. We will continue to provide all the resources we can to assure their success. And, we will be here to support them as well as our faculty and staff through the challenges.
Finally, given the events that have transpired this past week related to racism, I unequivocally publicly state that the school condemns hatred of any kind. We are committed to providing a safe space for people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs. The school values an inclusive and diverse population and learning/work environment.
Thank you for your continued support, and Go Cougs!
Ryan E. Smith
Professor and Director
School of Design and Construction