Dean’s Office Digest

Student studies sits at desk with mask

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We all need a great mantra right about now, as we pull out of a surprise campus COVID-19 surge that has left many students, faculty, and staff discouraged and demoralized. My mantra is a deceptively simple one: “Be kind. Be brave. Do the work.” I first heard it last fall, when the wonderful UNC teacher-mentor-scholar Jacquelyn Dowd Hall gave a stirring address to the Southern Association for Women Historians. Now I use it all the time. It guides me through all the rough spots, reminding me to practice empathy and understanding, embrace community and collaboration, buckle down and get the work done, and always, always, always focus on doing the right thing amid all the noise. These are extraordinary times, full of pain, hardship, and loss for so many, and there is no question they are difficult to navigate. But there is also so much to be excited about as the bleakness of this winter gives way to our glorious Piedmont spring; as our faculty and staff double down to engage our students in the richness of learning and life; as we anticipate mass vaccination and the waning of COVID-19’s omnipresence; and as we imagine the new post-COVID-19 world that lies ahead. My goal right now is to work with all of you to feed our students with that powerful sense of hope and possibility as we provide them with the best holistic, residential, liberal arts-based education we possibly can. What nobler, more rewarding work can there be?

– Michele Gillespie

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Spring 2021 Calendar

1/25/21 – submissions due 1/19
2/8/21 – submissions due 2/2
2/22/21 – submissions due 2/16
3/8/21 – submissions due 3/2
3/22/21 – submissions due 3/16
4/5/21 – submissions due 3/30
4/19/21 – submissions due 4/13
5/3/21 – submissions due 4/27

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