Columbia College Affinity Magazine: Summer 2020

Page 5

FROM THE PRESIDENT

history of providing online education served us well; while other institutions scrambled to convert their courses, we saw a relatively smooth transition.

Perhaps because of this family history, I take the current COVID-19 pandemic very seriously. While modern science will no doubt keep it from becoming as devastating as the 1918-1920 flu — which likely killed 50 million people in a world with less than a third of our population — COVID-19 has already caused plenty of misery, both medical and economic. The college has responded swiftly as the pandemic has spread. When the state of Washington became the early epicenter of the disease, we quickly converted our courses there to virtual formats. When the disease spread more widely in March, we did the same at all of our locations, including the Main Campus in Columbia. Our 20-year

We remain aware that, as Dr. Anthony Fauci says, we don’t control the timeline, the virus does. So we remain vigilant and flexible, ready to educate our students no matter what happens. We’re installing exciting new technology in all of our classrooms, which will make remote attendance — should it again become necessary — more satisfying than ever. Please stay safe during these extraordinary times. And remember: CC has made it through the Civil War, two World Wars, the 1918 Influenza pandemic, the Great Depression and more. We will make it through this, too. Sincerely,

Summer 2020

In October 1918, my greatgrandmother died in the great influenza pandemic. Like many men of the time, her husband was uninterested in raising the two children she left behind: my four-year-old grandmother and her infant brother. The two were split up and parceled out to different relatives. Though she never complained, I know my grandmother had a hard life after that, and I often wonder what it might have been like if disease hadn’t robbed her of the only loving person in her universe.

None of us asked for this, and many of our students are eager to return to in-seat instruction. We are too, and we’re preparing to do so as safely as possible. We plan to offer in-seat classes at all locations on August 31. We’re following all appropriate safety guidelines and often going even further: We’re lowering the number of desks in classrooms and installing acrylic shields where practical.

5 Dr. Scott Dalrymple Columbia College President

Affinity

Friends,