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Fall 2020 reflection and gratitude

A message from President Davidson

 

Dec. 10, 2020 

 

Dear Roadrunners,

 

I recently came across a quote from the late American poet Maya Angelou, which spoke to me so profoundly about the moment we are living in: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

The events of the past year have certainly tested us – the global pandemic and resulting economic crisis; racial injustice; and a bitter and divisive election. These events have left a lot of us tired, and in many ways, they have uprooted what we think of as our normal lives. But we have not been reduced by them.

In my three years at Metropolitan State University of Denver, I’ve learned that Roadrunners are resilient, rising to the challenges in front of them. And I have seen that often this semester. Whether it was taking or teaching classes on campus with heavy health restrictions; facing down the newness of teaching, learning or working online; or navigating struggles such as lost jobs, sick family members or kids at home, all of us have made the decision to keep moving forward. We have lifted one another up and found ways to serve our communities and help others in greater need than ourselves, many of whom were our own students.  

MSU Denver has been and always will be the place whose superpower is the ability to meet students where they are at any given moment, to provide the flexible education and robust support services that keep them on the road to success. This year has pushed us to find new ways to do that, and in spite of logistical and operational challenges, we will continue to put students first. That commitment is what led us to develop 125 accelerated courses for spring (with 50 face-to-face) and is top of mind as we plan for summer and fall 2021. That promise is also written into our Strategic Plan 2030, which was approved by the Board of Trustees last week and will guide us into the future with student success as our north star. 

Tomorrow at Commencement, we will send our 100,000th graduate out into the world. Think about that for a second; that’s enough graduates to fill Coors Field twice over. With most of those alums living in Colorado, we are making an enormous impact on our state. That’s not a platitude; it’s a fact. In 2019, MSU Denver generated an economic impact of $703.4 million. We are all part of a Roadrunner family that is building a better Colorado, transforming lives and reimagining possible.  

I am so grateful to every one of you for making a decision to not be reduced by the events that threatened to knock us off course this year. Thank you for your resilience. And thank you for taking care of one another and yourselves. You are the shining light that I will carry with me into the holiday season, knowing that brighter days are ahead.

 

With gratitude,

 

Janine Davidson, Ph.D.

President


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