Message from President Roger Casey
I remind everyone that a college is not a place, it’s not buildings, it’s not curriculum. A college is people. And you are those people. You are those people no matter where you are. “You are McDaniel College.” WE ARE MCDANIEL. And no virus will ever diminish The Hill. We will Climb Higher. We will See Farther.
Dear McDaniel Community:
A presidential colleague of mine noted that the COVID-19 virus response has made him feel like “I’m trying to put together a 10,000-piece picture-puzzle while riding a roller-coaster during a hurricane.” I’m not sure I can provide a better description of what the last two weeks have felt like for all of us around the globe.
My fellow senior administrators and I have spent hours developing responses to a myriad of scenarios. Who would have thought that we would be facing a global pandemic like COVID-19? Nonetheless, COVID-19 is a reality. It’s hard to imagine that our lives would be so inextricably changed because of it. But they certainly have.
To help flatten the curve of virus transmission, we have moved McDaniel online for the rest of the semester. Though this difficult decision results in a significant upheaval of expectations about what McDaniel looks and feels like, I want everyone to remember the message I share each year at our first-year convocation. I remind everyone that a college is not a place, it’s not buildings, it’s not curriculum. A college is people. And you are those people. You are those people no matter where you are. “You are McDaniel College.”
Whether you are taking an online class from Wichita Falls or Ellicott City, whether you are staffing our registrar’s office from Elderdice or your kitchen phone, whether you are teaching in Hill Hall or your own hallway in Westminster, whether you graduated from WMC in 1961 or McDaniel in 2013: WE ARE ALL STILL MCDANIEL COLLEGE.
I ask for your patience over the next few weeks as we transition to a new way of learning. Everything won’t always go smoothly. But it will go on. We are here for you on The Hill, whether we are there in person or in spirit. And to the Class of 2020, I especially say, “I’m sorry.” You got cheated out of eight weeks you thought you had left for friends and celebrations. No one imagined you wouldn’t be able to hang out in a group of more than ten. We don’t yet know what will happen to your graduation ceremony, but we will celebrate you in a special way once we know what is safe and possible. This I promise.
Meanwhile, I hereby declare that even though millions today may be stuck inside self-quarantined for the good of the many, on this March 17, I hereby request that around the world people wear green in celebration of being a Green Terror. I believe millions globally will join us in cheering our green pride. WE ARE MCDANIEL. And no virus will ever diminish The Hill. We will Climb Higher. We will See Farther.
President Roger Casey