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First steps on the Path Forward

Aug. 8, 2020

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Warmest greetings to everyone in the Flyer family! I hope that you and your loved ones are well as we prepare for a new semester. I offer a special heartfelt welcome to all new students, faculty, and staff.

The long-awaited path forward for the UD community starts today as students gradually begin moving into their residences, which will continue for the next two weeks. This approach to student move-in is part of the careful, thoughtful set of safety measures and protocols recommended by more than 150 members of our campus community that are now being implemented by hundreds more faculty and staff.

To say the least, we have truly missed having our students on campus, and we owe a deep debt of gratitude to the faculty, staff, and students — as well as off-campus partners in the private and public sectors — who have made this return to campus possible. The various working groups in the path forward process have worked tirelessly since April to bring us to this moment — a time when we are together again. Adhering to the University’s values and guiding principles, they focused on both the big picture and the most minute details to put us in a position to sustain our academic, research, and other operations this fall and lessen the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Now, it’s up to us.  Every single one of us MUST do our part.

In times that call for change, we often lean on the words of Marianist founder Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, S.M.: “new times call for new measures.” In no small way, we are all being called to think and act differently, remain nimble and agile, and look at each day with an open mind and heart.  We’re being asked to make a commitment to care for and respect one another as we would our own families.

And, yes, we each have to make sacrifices, but I’ve been heartened by the willingness of students, faculty, and staff to commit to do so: for the sake of the other, for the sake of the larger UD community. I appreciate the mutual commitment we are making to one another to promote safety. And I feel both a sense of solidarity and adventure as we move down the path forward together knowing that these times won’t last forever.

As we start this unusual academic year, remember how blessed we are to be here together at the University of Dayton. I ask you to look toward the future with the same optimism and faith that I feel, and do your part to keep us together.

Blessings and grace to each of you,

Eric F. Spina


P.S. We will periodically update The Path Forward website with updates when needed. Please remember to check this site for important information.