Dear members of the McGill community,
Now that Winter term classes are behind us, and on the eve of the final examination period, I write to offer some words of appreciation, acclaim, and assurance. While the challenges we have collectively faced in recent weeks have been sizable, they have also thrown into sharp relief the finest attributes of McGill academic life. For this, I am both grateful and proud.
From the onset the COVID-19 crisis in Quebec, McGill’s faculty and instructors have shown terrific pedagogical dexterity, moving their classes swiftly to virtual platforms. In so doing, they have consistently centred students’ wellbeing and success.
I also wish to salute our administrative staff who have supported our students and academic staff in multiple ways during this period: providing advice, insights, and guidance while maintaining operations critical to our institution.
To all students, I recognize that the closure of this academic year is not what any of us had hoped for or imagined. You have had to leave campus, perhaps also the city, and say sudden good-byes to friends and instructors. Your courses and projects came to an abrupt pause last month, resuming in new formats. While this must have felt jarring, throughout we have witnessed your resilience, courage, compassion, and unfaltering intellectual curiosity and desire to learn. It has made me feel honoured to be McGill’s Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).
I wish all students the best of luck on their final exams, projects, and assignments. To those of you graduating this term, the suspension of spring convocation ceremonies in no way detracts from the joy we take – and we hope you and your families take – in your remarkable accomplishments. As Principal Fortier has said, we will find a way to celebrate your accomplishments before long.
I close with a note about the future. While uncertainties remain about when it will be possible to resume campus life as we have known it, we are actively planning for all eventualities. Come what may in the months ahead, we commit to the continued delivery of outstanding academic programs and courses, to the care and support of our students, and to regular and clear communication with the community as top priorities.
Stay healthy, stay safe,
Professor Christopher Manfredi
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)