A Message of Gratitude

Monday, November 23, 2020

Dear campus community,

I think I speak for many when I say that there has never been a semester in which we all needed Fall Recess more. I have never seen a university work this hard nor look so fatigued and in need of a break (I may be projecting just a bit!). But I know that the holiday that anchors Fall Recess brings for some great pain. For some, it is a palpable reminder of genocide and centuries of white supremacy. For others, it brings the pain and loss associated with individual family dynamics and stories. This year, the isolation driven by the pandemic will be particularly acute next week. In this complicated context and in an ongoing attempt to redefine the holiday as a week of thanksgiving, I pause to express my gratitude.

I am grateful to the Ohlone and Coast Miwok peoples on whose lands I live and work.

I am grateful to our students whose resilience and engagement inspires me and reminds me of the value of the work we all do at SF State. Over the past few weeks, I have met with dozens of student leaders. Many are balancing work, complex lives and remote instruction. And yet, our conversations center on the future—how do we make SF State more welcoming? How do we recruit students for whom our form of education would be transformative? How do we graduate more students? And, often, how do we simply make the world a better place?

I am grateful to my colleagues—our faculty, staff and administrators. They too are accomplishing their work under unimaginable circumstances. I marvel at the work that our Academic Senate and other committees are accomplishing remotely. I am inspired by faculty who continuously work to make remote instruction work and offer our students much needed flexibility. I am awed by the dedication of staff who are also reimagining their work in so many ways to ensure that the University and our students thrive. I am grateful to our administrators whose efforts to work collaboratively to meet many unexpected challenges are helping us navigate the ongoing pandemic. And, I am most grateful for the moments when I see all working together to ensure our success.

Like many of you, this week will be different for me. I will not be able to see my four siblings, their families, and my parents, all of whom live back East. And no visits with Bay Area family and friends either as we try to flatten the curve yet again. But I will find joy and gratitude in other moments. I am blessed to have my grown children and husband with me. I live in this beautiful city that will afford me time outdoors. And I plan some quiet time with a novel and yet another jigsaw puzzle. I hope that you too find these moments.

And, maybe most importantly, other than with family and friends, I wish you all some Zoom-free days. 

Please stay safe and well!

Best,

Lynn's Signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President