Last year, our lives changed as a public health emergency was declared in response to the novel coronavirus. The 14 months since have tested our Trojan community in ways we could have never imagined. However, at every twist and turn, you have stepped up and pushed forward as academic leaders with a determination and resolve to not only survive the pandemic but thrive. What you have accomplished is nothing short of extraordinary.
As we come to the close of the semester, I want to take a moment to celebrate your commitment to world-class teaching and research in light of the persistent challenges we have faced. As brilliant and bold educators and scholars, you mastered new technologies, actively sought innovative solutions, and quickly embraced new ways to transfer knowledge uniquely catered to distance learning.
Astonishing to me is that your spirit did not end there. In addition to finding creative and innovative ways to inspire and shape future minds, you remained committed to academic excellence and achieved numerous awards, honors, and accolades. I list some of them here:
Academic Senate Faculty Awards and Recognition
In her State of the University address on Monday, President Folt presented the presidential medallion to the USC faculty and staff. This is yet another recognition of your work on behalf of our students and “for the great things to come – for our university, for our community, and for the world.”
Please take great pride in your achievements—all the more remarkable in light of the unique circumstances, which you have overcome with grace, resilience, and determination.
As you know, we will be hosting Commencement ceremonies for the combined classes of 2020 and 2021 at the LA Memorial Coliseum from May 14 to May 20. We have arranged for limited seating for you with a reservation system on a first-come, first-served basis. We will not be able to accommodate an academic procession, so we ask you to plan to participate as audience members, either virtually or by filing out this form to reserve seats.
Once again, President Folt and I are extremely grateful and thankful for all that you do for the university. We look forward, with great anticipation, to the Fall semester when we can once again be together in person.
Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
cc: Office of the President
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team