Dear members of the Trinity community,
As we round out the first week of our strange new normal, I offer thanks for all the very best that the Trinity community has expressed over these several weeks of abrupt, disruptive change and offer encouragement as we continue to move through this unusual, uncertain time.
In the last week before our scheduled spring break, students were quickly aware they might lose so much that matters to them about life on campus. What we cherish could be gone. Graduating students most of all stood to lose out on the long-anticipated culmination of their time at Trinity. Athletes learned early and clearly that their competition was over. Students left campus uncertain about whether and when we might reconvene in person. Some students remain right here, in place.
Staff rather suddenly found themselves supporting students to move off campus and determine whether and when and where they would go. In an unpredictable unfolding of real time, an emergency management team issued advisories for staying healthy and directives for keeping safe. Our faculty assembled anew their courses and then turned to adapt policies that would govern teaching and learning in a state of emergency.
Our state, and every state, and all nation states negotiate that same state of emergency. We share a common necessity to preserve human life and health. And most of us do that from circumscribed confines not of our own making.
In all of this we press on in our mission—worthy and worthwhile even in such a time as this. To teach and to learn are essential labors—yesterday vital for today, and now for its own sake as well as for tomorrow.
And so we have an opportunity. Our common humanity calls us to extend our care to those who suffer most and resources to persons most vulnerable on the margins. It calls us toward gratitude and support for those whose life and labor endanger their health even while they themselves bring life and health to others.
The call to the Trinity community remains fixed: to persist in the living and learning that are the heart of our mission. To teach and to learn are commitments to life and to hope—bold, admirable proclamations in the face of fear and loss, perennial practices worthy of our desire to sustain our own health and reclaim that of our global environment.
I wish you health and wellbeing. I wish you strength to meet the days ahead. I wish you success in your teaching and learning. And there, at the heart of who we are and what we do, I hope you find inspiration and the courage to move through this moment in this time and further into what lies beyond.
In peace with gratitude,
The Rev. Allison Read
College Chaplain and Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life