Courtesy of Gavilan College President Kathleen Rose:
I hope you are continuing to be safe and healthy during the continuation of our shelter in place directives. May has always been my favorite month of the Gavilan year (see campus photos, below!), as we celebrate our staff with appreciation, recognize students for their achievements academically and athletically, and prepare for the annual commencement at the end of the semester. The campus then becomes a quiet place for a few weeks until the summer session begins, bringing with it a change of pace and opportunity for personal travel and enjoyment of our beautiful California coastline.
There is little that is predictable about the summer or 2020, other than our classes will be held online, we will be here to serve students through Cranium Café and we will be training all summer to prepare for a mostly online Fall 2020 semester. In the midst of this one certainty, our globe has changed. Economically, socially, emotionally … we have all been changed by the pandemic. Many of us now know someone who has been impacted by this serious virus, and we all have had to adjust our days to minimize our contact with one another and our community. Nothing about this time is normal, and it has tested our resiliency and courage more than imagined.
Still, there is hope in our collective future, and much of it has to do with the steadfast achievements of our students, and the generosity of each of you. This year Gavilan College will again top the previous year in the number of graduates – more than 950 – and the number of degrees and certificates, more than 1,500. So many of you contributed to our student emergency fund, and the work of our food distribution team continues. Laptops and wifi hotspots have been distributed, and faculty continue to focus on instructional efforts with students at the core of their work.
The heartbeat of our work throughout the district continues with planning for our projects in Measure X, community meetings, dedicated support from our Board of Trustees, and preparing to face a future of uncertainty. Our Emergency Operations Center is committed to established protocols for all of us to return to the college with safety and social distancing precautions. We are working hard to be ready for the day that Zoom meetings don’t take up the majority of our days, and we can smile at one another without masks on our faces.
Until then, I will celebrate the month of May virtually with you. I extend my sincere congratulations to our graduates and look forward to a Virtual End-of-Year Celebration with you during the President’s Forum on May 22. I also look forward to our time together in December, when we will celebrate you all in person during our departmental graduations. After all, we will get through this, and all of us at Gavilan College will keep serving with the core belief that education changes lives and prepares us to lead in the changing world of the future.