September 14, 2020

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff:

I want to welcome back all the students and faculty of 2000+-level courses who are returning to campus this week for the first time this semester. This is the latest in our phased approach to reopening, which also includes continued all-remote, hybrid, and HyFlex courses and a Black and Orange alternating work schedule for staff, which together will help us safely manage the number of people on campus at any one time.
A reminder to everyone to be sure to complete the daily health screen on WP Connect every day you plan to come to campus and stay home if directed or if you otherwise feel unwell. Once here, of course, remember to practice social distancing, wash hands regularly, and wear a mask over your mouth and nose. Our good efforts on these fronts so far have helped keep our community safe, but we must remain vigilant right through until the semester’s end at Thanksgiving. Doing so will help ensure that the 12 weeks between now and then are as productive and enriching as possible for everyone. 
Even among all the challenges the pandemic presents, there is so much good news at William Paterson and so many inspiring stories of students, faculty, and staff doing great things. I will continue to share these stories here and elsewhere. To help ensure a healthy dose in these weekly emails, I will close these messages with “WPWe’re Proud,” a brief feature in which I will include an anecdote, a data point, or a shout-out to highlight some of the great things happening on campus and in our community.
We all know the great 3.7% increase in freshmen retention that has been a direct result of Will. Power. 101, but today I want to share a powerful quote from one of our students that illuminates the benefits of the program in a way that numbers alone cannot. Speaking of Will. Power. 101, sophomore accounting major Moises Liriano said, “I learned the importance of getting to know the people that will help you during your college journey through Will Power, like your advisor and professors. They’re there to guide you, provide extra help and are available when you need them.” Our approach is working. Our students are benefitting. Thank you all for being there for them.
Have a great week.
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD