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A community of common purpose: One Dal

Posted by Dalhousie University on March 30, 2020 in News

To:                   Dalhousie students, faculty and staff

From:              Deep Saini, President & Vice-Chancellor

Date:               Monday, March 30, 2020

Re:                   A community of common purpose: One Dal

As we enter our second week of remote teaching at Dalhousie, I continue to marvel at how our community has responded to COVID-19, and the measures we have had to take in such a short period of time. The word “extraordinary” doesn’t even begin to describe it — nor does a simple “thank you” begin to fully express the appreciation I have for your efforts. Know that your work is seen, and we are all thankful for it.

I wanted to share some words of thanks and appreciation — more than can fit in an email — and so I’ve recorded a short podcast, one I plan to continue with on a regular basis in the weeks to come. You can listen to the first episode here.

Today was originally supposed to be my presidential installation, and one of the ideas I had planned to share with all of you was about the power of community and common purpose — an insight that seems almost self-evident based on what’s transpired these past few weeks. For all our diversity and complexity as a university, and in the face of an urgent, all-encompassing challenge, we’ve come together to accomplish truly exceptional but also difficult feats: moving our teaching and learning online, students moving out of residence, the postponement of convocation and year-end rituals, all the while supporting those who remain with us. As we find new ways to continue our daily work remotely, finding our footing in this new reality, we do so with a sense of common purpose and community that becomes even more important.

Though our work is now conducted at desks and on devices spread across Canada and around the world, the bonds that unite us — our commitment to learning, to knowledge and discovery, to bettering our communities — remain strong. At the same time, members of our Dal community are also stepping up to do their part in the broader COVID-19 effort, from research for vaccine development to those front-line staff continuing to support those in need. Our collective efforts in common purpose unite us as One Dal, ensuring our mission continues — more vital than ever.

We want to tell more of these stories — your stories — of how you’re working through, responding to and helping one another in this unprecedented time. We’re launching a new webpage today to do just that: dal.ca/onedal. I’ll be joining in this effort with my podcast, and encourage everyone who has a story, photo, video or even a quote or anecdote worth sharing to send it along to us so we can share it with everyone. Let’s continue to celebrate our achievements, our resiliency and our Dalhousie community spirit, persistent as ever in the face of this adversity.

Please continue to access resources available to you through dal.ca/coronavirus. We’ve also made updates to the dal.ca homepage to make these resources easier to locate.

Thank you and continue to take care of one another — as One Dal, we are stronger.

Deep