Today marks two years since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic; but more than that, it’s two years since the true mettle of Shocker Nation was tested.
While we mourn the loss of far too many lives to this virus, it’s my hope that everyone will find some comfort in the closeness and support of our Shocker family. To some, it might feel like the past two years were stolen from us and lost in a sea of quarantines, COVID testing and uncertainty. But I think it’s important to reflect upon our collective achievements as one community:
- When the world shut down, we found a way to stay open; and our students, faculty and staff flipped on a dime to become fully remote in a matter of days.
- When our health care workers were in desperate need of PPE, we led an alliance of businesses to create, collect, and distribute masks, gloves and face shields.
- When our community and state leaders told us we needed to be able to quickly diagnose, quarantine and treat those infected, we erected the Molecular Diagnostics Lab.
- Although COVID has been a constantly changing and evolving situation, we’ve worked diligently to communicate health and safety changes throughout our campus.
- Workers at our Student Health Center has worked tirelessly to get vaccines into the arms of our students, faculty, staff and innovation partners.
We, as an entire planet, have endured so much in that time. Here in Shocker Nation, it’s something we have endured together.
While the pandemic isn’t over, we are starting to feel a palpable sense of hope and optimism that some normalcy — or at least a new normalcy — will return.
To all of you — my colleagues, our amazing Shocker students, and the families and communities who support Wichita State — thank you. Thank you for your understanding, grace and willingness to change the way you teach and learn and communicate.
Thank you for being the best part of Shocker Nation.
President Rick Muma