Community Message: September 2, 2020

A message from President Harring to the Muhlenberg College community

 Wednesday, September 2, 2020 09:01 AM

To the Muhlenberg Community,

The start of the academic year always brings the excitement of new beginnings and opportunities. We’ve completed the first week of the Fall semester. Faculty and students are immersed in coursework and scholarship. Student life activities and programming are already in full swing. Whether on campus or remote, we are seeing the richness of the Muhlenberg experience. For a fuller understanding of what this semester will look like, I encourage you to read A Semester Like No Other on our website. This year will definitely be the most distinctive year in Muhlenberg’s history. While different, our commitment to intellectual engagement and community is even stronger fueled by the innovation and creativity of our students, faculty and staff.

The Opening Virtual Doors Challenge is a great example of that collaboration and innovation. The Challenge is open to all Muhlenberg students and is an opportunity to develop and implement your ideas to connect our community. Students can see their vision come to lifeand win a cash prize. Kudos to staff in student life and academic life who created this initiative in partnership with our innovation and entrepreneurship program.

We began our testing protocol the week before classes. You can keep track of our campus and regional data on our COVID-19 dashboard. We will update the Muhlenberg information every Thursday and state data every Friday.

Our nation continues its long struggle with racial injustice—from the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin to the violent clashes in Portland, Oregon. In these times, our community and liberal arts values give us the strength and perspective to find our way through the challenges. At Muhlenberg, we turn toward our mission, encouraging dialogue and engaged citizenship. Beginning the week of September 7, we will launch a regular series of gatherings where we come together to reflect and to gain strength and courage from our community and shared values. Stay tuned for details about these opportunities.

We also encourage everyone to register to vote and actively participate in this fall’s election. Muhlenberg Magazine recently published a nonpartisan guide providing background on some of the issues we face in this election. Muhlenberg students in the nationally recognized ’Berg Votes initiative continue to work toward increased voter participation. Voting is a fundamental individual right in America. As citizens, it is critically important that we make ourselves informed about the issues that impact our nation in order to make the choice that we each think is in the best interest of the country.

In my opening convocation remarks, I reminded our new students that as they learn, grow and develop over the next four years, they will be shaped by our community. And they will shape us. This applies to all of us. Each of us has a responsibility to work together to create the best Muhlenberg possible.

I look forward to working with each one of you to uncover the possibilities at Muhlenberg.


Kathleen Harring