December 21, 2020

The Winter Solstice

Dear William Paterson Community:

As 2020 draws to a close, I am so grateful for all that our students, faculty, and staff have done to keep William Paterson moving forward this year, which I think we can all agree has been unlike any other in our history. I have been awed by the spirit of caring and support, and I am more proud than ever to lead this great University. 
I hope that everyone – whatever your faith and whichever holidays you observe – will find time to relax, reflect, and recharge in the coming weeks so that we are all prepared to make the most of 2021, personally, academically, and professionally. With vaccines already approved and being distributed, we can be hopeful that at some point next spring, the pandemic may be far enough under control to allow us to return to more normal activities. Even then, and certainly until then, we all must commit to remaining vigilant throughout the holiday season and beyond to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe.
Our region’s first big snow storm in several years has brought out the seasonal beauty in our campus, and I want to thank all the essential workers who dealt with the significant snowfall last week to keep our grounds and roads safe. On a separate housekeeping note, this will be my last weekly email update for a couple of weeks. I will resume the update on Monday, January 11. Of course, I will communicate as needed if I have time-sensitive information to share. 
If you haven’t yet had a chance to view the Holiday Greeting video that was sent out last week, please check it out below. I’m sure that, like me, you will be moved by the hopeful and inspiring wishes that our students share for the New Year. As I share in the video, my hope is that our community continues to weave optimism, social justice, and equality into the social fabric of our nation, and that our students and graduates never lose the grit that launched their William Paterson journeys.
This week’s WP: We are Proud – We’re so proud of our Honors College students for giving back to the community. This month some 100 students created and delivered 400 handmade greeting cards to senior citizen residents in local assisted living facilities. Thanks to our Honors College students for reaching out to others and sharing the Pioneer spirit!
My best wishes to you and your families for a happy and healthy New Year!
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD