As we close out this unique spring semester, we want to first take a moment to celebrate our graduates. Congratulations go out to them—they hold a special place in our hearts.
Science alumni should know that Penn State and your college have done our best to continue to provide a world-class education for our students this semester. We know the abruptness with which the coronavirus forced us to transition to remote classrooms created disappointment and uncertainty among students, and stress throughout our faculty and staff ranks. While we have transitioned spring semester and will spend at least the first summer session in remote classrooms this has not been without challenges. We have applied every resource and all our expertise with the intent of keeping our students on track to fulfill their academic requirements. COVID-19 has disrupted springtime at Penn State—a season usually marked by dreams, scholarship, and celebration. We are all missing this terribly.
And yet through all of this, the Eberly College of Science remains strong.
A science education is more relevant now than ever. Medical researchers, practitioners, and data scientists are today’s heroes and pioneers. The Eberly College of Science has played an important role in launching the careers of those scientist-heroes and research pioneers. You are our proof. We are justifiably proud of the innovation and expertise that characterize our alumni, students, and faculty. Our research, outreach, and service are impacting the world; and our coronavirus research, outreach, and service are impacting the world, as well.
The pandemic has forced us to adapt, and we are making real-time adjustments to support our students. As we create emergency funds, new and different scholarships, and additional strategies for successful remote learning to meet the needs of our students, we are encouraged by their enthusiasm and perseverance. Preliminary data indicate that acceptances for fall 2020 are up in all categories. Our friends at New Student Orientation tell us that most students are signing up for their virtual orientation appointments. We are not expecting the catastrophic “melt” that critics of higher education predict. Confidence in Penn State remains high. And for us, we know that the world needs the scientists—statisticians, chemists, biologists, virologists, epidemiologists, physicians, and others—who are trained by the Eberly College of Science.
Thank you, Eberly alumni, for your continued interest in our students and faculty, and for representing so well the Eberly College of Science and Penn State!
Douglas R. Cavener
Verne M. Willaman Dean
Kimberly A. Neely
Senior Director of Development