With eternal gratitude

December 22, 2020

This message was sent to students, faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

I hope this message finds you and yours safe and healthy after a fall semester unlike any other in our 146-year history. The University community returned to campus during the summer not sure what the coming semester would bring. Although there were clear challenges, what was demonstrated time and time again was a reaffirmation that the best path forward is shared and made bolder by the collective effort of the people of our University.

Our students demonstrated resiliency, courage and adaptability as we shifted to different teaching modalities from what was hoped to be more of an in-person learning experience. Although facing personal challenges, many of our students used the opportunity to not turn inward, but rather to gaze outward and share the possibility of their individual lives with those in the community who needed help. Our students played active roles in matters ranging from the reckoning our nation is facing regarding racial, social and economic justice to the ways we can achieve equity and full participation in our democratic processes.

Our faculty took on the challenge of teaching in multiple ways and conducting research and outreach against the backdrop of a vastly changed higher education landscape. They did so with energy, creativity and strength, providing knowledge and counsel, compassion and care, for their students. Our faculty were always there for our students during a semester when our students needed them most. Our staff, with ingenuity, dedication, and passion, were able to put the many moving pieces of an ever-evolving COVID-19 plan together so daily operations were always smooth and efficient. When we needed institutional cohesion, staff never missed a beat and provided it. Our alumni, friends and partners in the community were always willing and able to offer expertise and resources whenever the need arose. Truly, this was a University- and community-wide effort.

We must close this message with hope. In recent days, our nation has undertaken an unprecedented vaccination effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. The first doses of the vaccine have been administered through the efforts of the Nevada State Immunization Program. In the coming months, based on the tiered structure outlined by the Governor, the vaccine will become available to the University community. This process will not be immediate and will require patience from all of us. As more information is made available, we will provide it to you so you can quickly and efficiently receive a vaccination. Check the University’s coronavirus website regularly for updates.

We can all look back on this past semester with a sense of wonder, Wolf Pack pride and hope. Because of your collective effort and what you have accomplished, this has been a successful semester. I want to wish our entire Wolf Pack Family a winter break that is restful and rejuvenating. Thank you for all that you’ve done. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval