Safety has and will always be our top priority; we provide HELP, so you can have HOPE.
As I reflect on this academic year, I would have never imagined last fall that we would be finishing the year virtually with a nearly empty campus. With that said, I wonder how those before us at UMW felt during major events since our humble beginning in 1908. History has shown how members of our UMW community made major contributions, ultimate sacrifices, and provided compassion to those in need.
Class of 2020: What will your legacy be?
It seems like yesterday I was greeting you and your family at the front gate during move-in; now look at you. You have completed your degree program; not in the traditional way at UMW, but what is traditional? Tradition always has a place at the table, but you, you will be able to be a shining example of persistence in light of crisis. You will again define who you are and that can be a GREAT thing.
Back in early March, when we hit the pause button, the UMW community had a lot of questions, uncertainties, and concerns. It was not long before the uniqueness of the UMW community started manifesting itself in members pulling together to accomplish the education mission, ensure everyone had the opportunity to excel, and once again, prove we are stronger as a community.
Our diversity within our community continues to make us stronger and enables us to achieve greater heights. You will never forget this time in your life. Even with the difficulties, however, I am confident that you will continue as a trailblazer. You will define who you are by the strength you achieve through education, determination, faith, and community interaction. You may well become the new definition for true grit. Congratulations!
Now, to the greater UMW Community. I am proud of what we have accomplished during these unusual times; however, not surprised. Our small community has endured great challenges repeatedly, and each time we have set aside differences to achieve community success. As we continue to define the “new normal”, we must never compromise our values and always reach back to ensure no one is left behind.
Together we can overcome fear, through LOVE, HOPE and UMW.
Michael W. Hall
UMW Chief of Police and Assistant Vice President of Public Safety