Message From the Dean Regarding COVID-19

Paul Wahlbeck, Dean, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Paul Wahlbeck, Dean, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
April 10, 2020

Dear CCAS Alumni, Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff:

Within our community and around the world, we are experiencing something that is unexpected and unprecedented. The fallout from COVID-19 has changed our lives in ways that would have been unimaginable just a short while ago. And despite extraordinary efforts to mitigate the pandemic’s impact, some of us have already been touched by this crisis in the cruelest of ways. 

I want you to know how much I appreciate all that you are doing as we move through these challenging times. We have alumni on the front lines of the pandemic—they are our healthcare providers, service personnel and community volunteers who are putting their own lives at risk to help others. We have our faculty and staff who have, seemingly overnight, overhauled curriculum, adjusted priorities and adapted to new technologies to ensure the delivery of our educational and research mission. And we have our students who are overcoming the disappointment of not returning to campus and pivoting in creative ways to connect, study and cope with this crisis.

It is important to remember that we are all in this together. This is an extraordinary period in our lives, one that calls upon each of us to act in both simple and heroic ways to ensure the health and wellbeing of our entire community. It has never been more crucial to be patient and kind to one another, help those who are in need and, most importantly, take care of yourselves.

At GW, we’re doing our best to assist where we can. The GW CARES Student Assistance Fund supports students facing financial hardships, including those related to COVID-19. The university has also established the COVID-19 Response Fund to help with the purchase of personal protective equipment, ventilators and other critical resources for our GW healthcare providers. The university has also set up a COVID-19 website for the latest updates on guidance and resources.

As a long-time member of the CCAS community, I miss being on campus, particularly this time of year when we are closing out the spring semester and looking forward to celebrating the achievements of our graduating students. I miss interacting with our students, engaging with our faculty and staff and meeting alumni and parents. I know that each of you are also missing so much of what we took for granted in our daily lives. It is my hope that you’re finding joy and humor in the unplanned moments, basking in the warmth of a sunny day, and staying connected as much as possible to your family and friends. I encourage you to also keep in touch with the CCAS community and I look forward to continuing to hear from you, either by email or through our InstagramFacebook or Twitter platforms.

Best wishes,

Paul Wahlbeck

Dean, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences