COVID-19 Updates for Westminster Alumni
An Update for the Westminster Community from President Keith Evans
April 30, 2020
Dear Westminster Community,
One of the enduring memories of the COVID-19 pandemic for me will be sitting down at a table full of faculty in Malone Dining Hall the day before we would formally begin the transition to online learning. Our teachers had been hearing the news and reading the signals over Spring Break, and once we reconvened on campus, it was apparent that we would soon be the first school in Atlanta to step into the virtual teaching environment.
You might have guessed that this was a quiet, anxious lunch crowd facing down a disruption of unknown magnitude and full of potential pitfalls. It was, in fact, an animated and excited group of teachers who recognized the challenge in front of them, understood the high stakes for our students and our School, and brought a cheerful, can-do spirit to the endeavor. A short time later, their heroic efforts moved 69 years of face-to-face learning into cyberspace, and with hardly a glitch.
From that moment to this one, the Wildcats have not looked back. We have worked diligently to adapt and innovate, always with an eye on creating the exceptional academic experience that has been at the heart of Westminster’s mission since its founding. We have devoted equal effort to helping our students stay connected and supported even as they experienced the isolation of ever more restrictive distancing practices. Finally, we knew that with sufficient imagination, we could enrich the student experience by recreating everything from musical performances to innovation fairs in our new virtual environment. Our faculty and staff made that happen too, to no one’s surprise.
In the midst of an initiative that has never really slowed down, our school community has remembered those who serve and those whose circumstances make them especially vulnerable. Our students and faculty have made and donated protective masks to local hospitals and have written notes of thanks to frontline healthcare workers. They have recorded performances and created works of art for those who have needed to stay isolated during this time. Our food service has provided daily meals to those experiencing homelessness. And within the Westminster community, new programs have been created to match students in tutoring relationships and to support Wildcat-owned businesses.
From that moment at the lunch table to now, I never doubted our School would rise to this occasion. We have been fueled by the inspiration of those who came before us and created the Wildcat Nation. We have approached each day with gratitude for the support of a generous school community that extends beyond our campus boundaries to alumni, grandparents, past parents, and former and Emeritus Trustees. And we all knew—without having to say it—that this was a once-in-a-generation challenge, but that it was not the first time the Westminster community needed to lock arms and persist through adversity—nor would it be the last. It is this very community whose generous support has positioned us to meet this moment from a place of strength and whose continued support gives us hope for a better future. We have a legacy to preserve and build upon, and we intend to exceed the high expectations that we know you have for us.
Thank you for your unwavering support during this time. I hope that you remain safe and well and that we see one another again soon on campus.
- 50th Reunion Phonathon, March 22
- 60th Reunion Luncheon, April 3
- Reunion Weekend, April 24 and 25
- Alumni Phonathon, March 24
- Young Alumni Happy Hour, March 25
- DC Alumni Reception, March 31
- Golden Wildcats Reception, April 2