An important milestone

March 12, 2021

Dear UAlbany Community,

As we have reached the milestone of one year since the coronavirus turned our world upside down, I wanted to share again my deep gratitude for our community’s response throughout this extremely challenging year.

There are so many emotions that accompany this somber anniversary. Members of the UAlbany family have lost close family members and friends to the virus. Many colleagues and classmates have battled COVID themselves. The financial impacts on our communities have been significant. We have all faced many disappointments—from the lack of everyday social connections to the cancellation of important celebrations and events. The cumulative toll of these losses is immeasurable.

In the face of all this, I feel tremendous pride about the way our faculty, staff and students have adapted, innovated and remained engaged. This says a lot about the kind of people you are, and the kind of community UAlbany is.

And we have so many reasons to be hopeful about the future. Vaccine eligibility is expanding rapidly, and we are planning for a Fall 2021 that will feel just about like a typical semester at UAlbany, with some reasonable precautions still in place.

With spring in the air and the number of campus COVID-19 cases stable, I understand the temptation to be more social. For example, just yesterday, while eating lunch at the Campus Center with colleagues, we had more than two people at our table. I was later reminded—rightfully so—that this is not allowed under our safety protocols. This shows that we all make mistakes, including the president; that the process worked, as we were reminded of our current guidelines; and that no matter what, we must all continue to remain alert and vigilant to ensure the health and well-being of our communities.

As the weather improves, we are hoping to hold some safe outdoor activities, including some very exciting plans for Commencement. But this will only be possible if we stay the course. I am confident we can do this, based on everything we have achieved together during these challenging times.

Again, for everything you have done in support of the University and our colleagues and friends over the past year, muchísimas gracias. And never forget—we are the Great Danes! 


Signature of Havidan Rodriguez

Havidán Rodríguez