As I (digitally) pen this letter from my home office, I eagerly await a return to our active and vibrant campus. The bustling in the hallways, the liveliness of the residence halls, the raucous spirit of the arena, the conviviality of the Atrium, the pep in the Grove, and the stimulation in the classrooms – it will all return, in time.
Stanford psychologist Gregory M. Walton wrote, “I think it’s important to remember that “togetherness” is both an objective experience and a psychological one. You can be physically apart but still feel together. That’s never been truer than now.” So, for now, we find these energies in sometimes unexpected places…a WebEx chat stream punctuated with “lols”, a virtual symposium with free-flowing dialogue, a live-streamed performance peppered with clapping hands emojis, or a Canvas discussion page brimful with analysis and creativity.
Compassion, adaptability, and fortitude are all qualities that a Ramapo College education, a liberal arts education, seeks to foster in its learners.
Beyond our physical campus and our virtual realms, we can also see the truly awesome energies of our students and alumni. From our nursing program graduates to our teacher education alumni, in the pages that follow we can envelop ourselves in their lived experiences…experiences that, while largely brought on by the temporality of this pandemic, are timeless in their humanity. Compassion, adaptability, and fortitude are all qualities that a Ramapo College education, a liberal arts education, seeks to foster in its learners; and we will continue to do so at every opportunity.
Thank you for your continued support and generosity of spirit.
Peter P. Mercer
President, Ramapo College of New Jersey