President Thomas LeBlanc addresses ongoing challenges, commitment to safety and optimism for the future in message to university community.
To the George Washington University Community:
Welcome to Spring 2021. I hope that you had a restful break—including some well-deserved time offline.
There is no doubt that 2020 was a tough year, and our world still faces many challenges this year, too. The ongoing pandemic and recent horrifying events at the Capitol have reinforced the importance of continuing the work we do every day to make a difference. I want to reassure you that, as we move forward, we have been and will continue to be focused on the safety of our campus and our community. We have dedicated safety and security personnel who are collaborating with our local and federal partners and actively monitoring any situation that has the potential to impact our community. As always, we will continue to communicate any important updates with you.
Later this month, we will welcome an additional 1,000 undergraduate students to Foggy Bottom. For some, it will be their first time living on campus, and I am excited for this encouraging step closer to “normal.” I also am confident that we will fulfill our academic mission through necessary in-person teaching and research and, of course, our high-quality virtual academic experience and only-at-GW moments.
As ever, we remain indebted to the many frontline, safety, and public health professionals who are keeping our community and many others healthy and safe—on campus through patient care, testing, and other measures, and beyond, with the essential role our university played in the Moderna vaccine trials. We will continue to closely monitor local and national vaccination progress in the coming months.
These are all good reasons to be optimistic this year, especially as we plan for fall, when we will be back in person to the fullest extent possible. I am looking forward to this planning and our continued work together this spring, particularly with students, faculty, and staff. I also look forward to more opportunities to meet with our alumni and families.
Uniting our entire community throughout 2021 is a historic milestone in the life of our university—our Bicentennial. Our kickoff on February 9 will be the beginning of a year-long series of events that reflects on our generations of progress and celebrates our community. This is an important inflection point for our university, and I truly believe we are heading into our third century in a position of strength, thanks to this community.
I wish you a healthy, productive, and brighter spring semester. Whether on campus or online, I am excited to see and meet more of you throughout the term.
Thomas J. LeBlanc