A Message from President Linda Oubré

March 23, 2020


Dear Poets,

Who could’ve imagined how much all of our lives would change in such a short time? Just a few weeks ago, we were busy taking midterms, finishing senior projects, getting ready for winter sports playoffs, planning for commencement, and celebrating our national champion men’s water polo team!

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed our lives, but it doesn’t have to defeat us. We have all had to make some very difficult decisions, but I am so hopeful for the future. Our students, faculty, and staff are amazing. I am so proud of how everyone has stepped into this new world with optimism, flexibility, patience, innovative thinking, and a commitment to each other.
As we launch into remote learning for the remainder of the semester, I’d like to remind everyone that physical distancing does not mean social disengagement. Be creative and have fun. Find ways to connect with others with virtual study groups, dinner dates, book readings, art exhibits, and/or performances. Schedule your work or study hours and get a daily routine that works for you. Check in on students, classmates, co-workers, friends, and family members because we need each other more than ever right now.
These are extraordinary times. We must all accept that there is no roadmap and this is new for everyone. Our first priorities are the health and safety of our students and employees, and supporting the academic mission of the College. We are committed to providing a quality education during this difficult time. This includes the delivery of the academic curriculum and academic support programs while accepting that it may take a week or two to work out the kinks.
The campus leadership team will continue to meet daily to monitor and assess the situation. Following the guidance of our government leaders and health professionals, we will make critical decisions to help the campus move forward. Many of our staff and faculty will be working remotely, although essential personnel will be joining me on campus for the foreseeable future.

I was heartbroken to have to make the decision to delay and modify commencement activities for our seniors. I am so proud of the achievements of our seniors and am committed to finding ways to properly celebrate you. The campus-wide Commencement Committee is working on potential solutions. In an effort to solicit student input and feedback, we will be sending out a survey about commencement within the coming weeks. We would love to hear any ideas as we work to create a meaningful culminating experience for our seniors, so keep an eye out.
Please be sure to frequently check your campus email for Poet Updates. You can also check the website for the most up-to-date information about the College. As we have communicated previously, we are committed to crediting room and board for those students who choose to move out of the residence halls on March 31. We are also committed to paying all students with on-campus work-study jobs through the end of the semester according to their regular work schedule.

I am confident that together we will get through this. Thank you all for your leadership and commitment. Let’s continue to support each other as we work through this difficult challenge.

I am so proud of all of you and proud to be a Poet!

Linda S. Oubré, Ed.D.  M.B.A.

President and Professor of Business Administration 
Whittier College