Hello from Winchester!
So much has changed since my last column that I scarcely know where to begin. Each day brings new challenges as we face the health pandemic that is COVID-19. Many of us are facing new situations of health, working from home, childcare, family and scarcity of common household supplies and food. We are all dealing with our own unique situations, both good and bad. Schools are closed until the end of the year here in Virginia, which presents unique challenges as educators are adapting face-to-face lessons to virtual learning while parents are becoming educators-at-home. I don’t have to remind you of the situations occurring daily in our medical facilities.
It’s easy to become swept up on the negativity that is swirling around us. Being the positive person that I am, I keep looking for the positives all around me. Yes, I miss my children and grandchildren. I have held my month-old grandson only once since he was born in early March. However, I am thankful that there is FaceTime and Google Duo and I can see his precious face every day. I walk outside to see the beautiful spring weather and I am thankful. I see friends and neighbors caring for each other while still practicing social distancing.
I am so proud of Shenandoah and the way we are caring for students, staff and our community during this crisis. Recently, Shenandoah donated extra clinical masks to Valley Health to help alleviate shortages. I have heard from several conservatory alumni in our hardest hit areas that SU has reached out to them with expressions of concern and offers of support. If you follow Shenandoah on social media, it has been inspiring to watch the resiliency of faculty and students as they are navigating virtual learning. Alumni are posting from around the world with messages of hope and support. The campus is very empty, concerts and events have been canceled, but the heart of Shenandoah is still beating strong!
Wherever you are, I hope you are well. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. Practice the CDC recommendations and stay safe.
President, SU Alumni Association