Dear Michigan Engineering Students:
Today marks the last day of classes for the winter term. What a term it has been!
There is no getting around the negatives. Missed graduation celebrations, a tough economy, health challenges for some of you and many of your loved ones. The disappointments and anxiety many of you are feeling right now is acute.
But I want to make one thing clear: The impacts of COVID-19 in no way diminish your accomplishments. Whether you are finishing up your first year here at Michigan, or completing years of study to achieve your Ph.D., you should be proud. You represent the Leaders & Best.
For those of you graduating this year, congratulations! Your successful completion of senior projects, final exams and dissertation defenses have brought you to this culmination point. You now join a network of nearly 90,000 Michigan Engineering alumni living around the globe.
Although I will miss shaking your hands as you cross the stage at Crisler Arena this year, I do want to mark your accomplishment. I filmed this short video from my home office – I hope you’ll consider it my “virtual handshake.”
We are actively looking at ways to commemorate the Class of 2020. It is difficult to know when a safe and appropriate opportunity can be planned. We have heard and appreciate the feedback from so many of you about how to best celebrate when we can. Please know this – it will happen.
In the meantime, please celebrate your accomplishments, and congratulate each other using #UmichEngin20. Much like on the jumbotron in Crisler Arena, these posts will be collected on the #UmichEngin20 tagboard for everyone to see. I look forward to seeing your smiling faces and creative mortarboard designs – our partners in Stamps School for Arts & Design have made a printable template if you’d like to DIY.
A few other items of note:
- If you need some relief during finals week, the College’s Stressbusters event will be held online this year. Visit this interactive page tomorrow, April 22, from noon to 4 p.m. to participate in a few soothing events this week.
- Due to the unusual circumstances of this term, the College will not publish a winter term Dean’s List.
- There are more than 40 Spring and Summer engineering classes being offered online, including EECS 495: Projects for the Greater Good and ENTR 407: Entrepreneurship Hour. Register through May 4.
- Many departments are extending deadlines and modifying GPA requirements to apply to the SUGS program, allowing you to continue your studies and earn a master’s degree in only one year. Please talk this offer over with your academic advisor to see if this opportunity is right for you.
- Support will still be available throughout the summer through the Engineering CARE Center, the Office of Student Affairs, our associate deans and CAPS. Please check the College’s COVID-19 website for full resources.
Finally, I want you to know that I appreciate and admire your resilience. This is bound to be one of the most difficult career starting points in recent decades, but it is not the end of your story – it is only the beginning.
Be safe and well, and forever Go Blue!