"Together we will manage the challenges," President Staton urges

“Together we will manage the challenges,” President Staton urges

Letter from the President Neville Hall Presbyterian College

Dear PC Community:

As the undergraduate campus resumes classes this week online, and as both pharmacy and physician assistant studies are continuing their classes online, I’m writing to thank all of you for your commitment and hard work as we continue delivering on our mission of preparing our students for lives of personal and vocational fulfillment and responsible contribution to a rapidly changing and uncertain world around us.

Within this temporary reality of online classes, working remotely, and tremendous disruption everywhere you look, I imagine that many of you are experiencing some anxiety and discomfort, especially in not knowing what comes next. It’s hard on everyone, me included. It would be easy to stand still, or to retreat into a wait-and-see mode on everything. What is easy is not always right, however, and we need to move forward and adapt to this new environment. PC, along with most educational institutions around the country, from Pre-K to Ph.D., has made this rapid shift because it is what this moment in time requires of us.

Many have worked countless hours over the past few weeks to engage all of us in this transition to online learning, and I am very proud of what I have seen and heard from PC students, faculty, staff, alumni, board members, and others who have worked diligently to work through this process of change. I am impressed by how the spirit of PC has risen to the challenge of the moment.

With any change as significant as this, I would encourage us to remember that many of us – students, faculty, and staff – will have a true learning curve as we go online, and we need to acknowledge that some items may not work as anticipated. When they don’t, we should be open to innovation, change, trial and error, and adaptation along the way. We must also be patient with each other and work together to find solutions as we encounter problems. We will bring different perspectives to online delivery and remote work, and those need to be recognized. Communications will be critical, and we must be attuned to the need for information among those we serve.

I also imagine that, with the anxiety and discomfort that comes with uncertainty for us and our loved ones, we all have questions for which there are no answers at this time or that have answers that change from day to day. Some of our families, furthermore, have already been impacted by current events, and the closing of many businesses has a long reach and will touch most of us. On a personal note, at least two of my adult children and their families have been impacted.

In times of extreme uncertainty, I sometimes find myself getting distracted by things over which I have no control instead of focusing on things I can impact. Over the years, I have found that focusing on the things we can control, such as how we do our jobs, how we respond to each other, and how we take care of ourselves enables us to move forward even when surrounded by uncertainty.

Over the coming weeks I would ask each of us to focus on where we can make the most impact. I encourage:

Our great students to embrace remote learning and treat course work and studying with the same seriousness of purpose as you would on campus. This is a key moment in attaining your college degree. Don’t just try to get by – commit to excelling. This positive approach will benefit you throughout your life.

Our outstanding faculty to continue to deliver, just in a different manner, their courses with the same quality and commitment they have always demonstrated.

Our exceptional staff to maintain its commitment to carrying out different tasks, just away from campus. The work of PC continues across campus life, admission, advancement, marketing, campus services, academic affairs, athletics, alumni relations, and numerous other areas.

All the PC family (students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters) to come together as never before to show others how we join, as one, during challenging times to continue to deliver on PC’s mission in this time of change.

I have confidence that, together, we will successfully manage the challenges ahead of us. Although the future will be different in ways we cannot predict, as a collective community we can and will adapt to the world we find on the other side of the current crisis and successfully move forward.

PC was created 140 years ago with faith as a cornerstone. I pray each day for God’s guidance and to open our hearts and minds to God’s will in all we do. We are sustained, particularly in times like these, by our various support systems. Faith, family and friends have served to sustain me over the course of my life. I consider you to be my family and friends, and I know we can and will get through these stressful times and create success in the days that lie ahead.

Thanks again for the great work you have done and will do to prepare to deliver our educational programs remotely! Be well in the coming days.

With sincerity,
Bob Staton ’68