From the President, May 2020

May 2, 2020

In 1780, in the midst of the Revolutionary War, Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her 13 year old son, John Quincy Adams, who would grow up to become the sixth president of the United States. She wrote, “It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues.” It has now been almost two months since DRBU, along with most other American universities, had to send its students out into the world to continue their semester on computer screens. It has been stressful for everyone, and the continued uncertainty around the progress of the pandemic has not been easy to bear.

There are reasons to be hopeful. Mendocino county currently has just 11 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Four people have recovered, none have required hospitalization, and there have been no deaths. There is still no evidence of community spread in this county. Compliance with shelter-in-place rules has been very good, and it is heartening to see the many ways that people are reaching out to help each other during this challenging time. 

DRBU classes have continued online, and administrative work continues with frequent Zoom meetings and phone check-ins. I know we all appreciate being able to see each other’s faces on the computer screen, and we are happy that the technology works--most of the time! But it is not the same as being together in person. 

I can assure you that DRBU will be convening classes for the fall semester. While I know many of us are hoping we can hold fall classes in-person on the CTTB campus, we are not yet able to determine whether we can do so. To that end, faculty and staff are working together to gather data and make contingency plans for the fall. While we are putting together possible scenarios, we are waiting for more definitive guidance from state and local officials. CTTB remains temporarily closed to all visitors, and residents there, like the rest of us, are waiting to see how things develop before making decisions about re-opening the campus. We recognize that both new and returning students need to make travel plans and other arrangements, and please be assured that we will make our decision as soon as we possibly can and will notify you immediately once it is made.

Meanwhile, faculty are putting together course schedules for the fall, the admissions team continues to interview prospective students every week, and the campus life team is planning for new student orientation. Renovation work on the Women’s Dorm and the Sudhana Center is proceeding on schedule and both facilities will be ready for students in the fall. We are all eagerly awaiting the time when it will be safe and prudent to reassemble on our beautiful campus.

I look forward to the time when we will be together again. I know there will be many stories to share of how we coped and what we learned about ourselves during this time. Until then, please take good care of yourselves and the people around you