Dear Methodist University Community,
Please give me five minutes, MU. Turn off your phone. Sit back and picture this. And there’s a reward for all students at the end (but don’t skip to the end)!
May 8, 2021 = For the first time since 2019, MU graduates walk across a stage in front of classmates, faculty, and family to receive their diplomas, symbols of excellence and accomplishment.
Mid-August, 2021 = Freshmen arrive on our beautiful MU campus for New Student Orientation without masks or gathering limitations. They meet friends they will have for the rest of their lives as they get settled in residence halls and plan best routes and schedules to classes and Starbucks.
Late August, 2021 = Two weeks of classes in the books. Students gather in study groups without social distancing in classrooms, labs, the library, Quad, and residence halls.
September, 2021 = We’re side by side, yelling louder than we thought we could for our mighty Monarchs on athletic fields, courts, and courses. Our voices, not muffled by masks, offering an exulting cheer: “We Are. MU! We Are. MU!”
October-November-December, 2021 = A fall semester full of attending art shows, plays, and concerts. A semester of unrestricted club and Greek life activities. A fall semester of gathering for chapel, academic presentations, guest speakers, playing pool in Berns, and a thousand other opportunities that were restricted, on Zoom, or cancelled completely because of COVID in the past year.
Picture that, MU. Our plan is for a beautiful commencement ceremony this Saturday to close out this academic year, and our expectations for the fall are no masks, no social distancing, no gathering limitations, and a full slate of campus events, meetings, shows, and athletics. It’s a wonderful picture, and it’s not beyond our imagination or reach.
Author George Bernard Shaw said: “You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”
At MU, we have certainly worked, cared, sacrificed, imagined, and willed. That we have completed both fall and spring semesters on campus, when colleges and universities all across the U.S. could not, is remarkable.
Now that we’re crossing the finish line together, I thought we might as well do it in style. Though some of you have already left campus – we’re saving one for you, don’t worry – students may pick up a “We Did It Together!” t-shirt at the Student Involvement Center in Berns from 8 a.m.-Noon and 1-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. They’ll be available this summer (just message Gavin Myrick at email@example.com to schedule a pick-up) and when you return in the fall.
Congratulations Monarchs on an amazing year, and I look forward to celebrating with our graduates on Saturday at Segra Stadium. Our slogan all year was Forward Together, and we certainly have accomplished our goal together.
Stanley T. Wearden, Ph.D.