August 29, 2022
Happy first day of classes! It’s been wonderful to witness our campus come to life with your arrival. From the sounds of the Marching Band reverberating off of Schmucker Hall, to the cheers of encouragement from Clark Field, to the enthusiasm and teamwork on full display during Orientation, it has been a joyous start to the academic year.
In watching our students in action, I’m so often struck by the talent and passion you bring to this special community, and more profoundly, the incredible support you show for one another. This is a hallmark of our Gettysburg experience—and a strength that many across our community have worked hard to build upon this summer, through our most recent College enhancements.
In the year ahead, you will feel the personal impact of these student-centered investments. With a special focus on our students’ intellectual and emotional health, we have dedicated numerous wellness resources, including:
- A new app—Navigate—that helps you access resources and support more quickly;
- Expanded counseling options, including daily drop-in hours and the Teletherapy platform, UWill;
- Expanded hours at Gettysburg Health Center by WellSpan Health;
- A program model focused on wellness in Residential Education;
- And so much more.
These enhancements are on top of the good work currently underway to implement our new strategic plan; advance our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitments; and support the Faculty’s comprehensive review of the curriculum. You can expect updates on these priorities over the coming year.
While this fall will bring with it a return of so many campus activities and traditions we adore, it is also a moment of change for Gettysburg College—and for higher education and the nation more broadly. Change can be difficult. It can get messy. The divisiveness of the mid-term elections alone will test our community’s resolve and challenge us to fully live our core values.
Let us commit, together, to engaging one another with thoughtfulness, understanding, and compassion in all that we do. Likewise, may we use this historic year as an opportunity, in the words of Lincoln, “to think anew and act anew” and to work collectively to tackle the many challenges of our time. I have full confidence we will.
I look forward to partnering with you to Do Great Work in the year ahead. Welcome home!