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Greetings from Rob Johnson

A message from Alumni Association President Rob Johnson, SPA/BA '81

Dear Fellow Alumni,
 
I know the news is often tough to take lately, but this month's Alumni Update is full of good stuff. During this challenging time, I have been buoyed by all the incredible work that continues at AU, even as students, faculty, and staff work largely in a remote environment. As you likely heard, the Kennedy Political Union hosted Dr. Anthony Fauci on October 6. The Q&A discussion, hosted by President Sylvia Burwell, was viewed by more than 10,000 AU community members. I thought Dr. Fauci was amazing and enjoyed his candor relative to questions from our students. How awesome that our students can still plan events and have experiences of this magnitude, even remotely!
 
Time is flying by, and Election Day is nearly upon us. I was proud to see the October 5 message from President Burwell indicating that AU will encourage civic engagement by closing the university on November 3. As she noted, "civic engagement and pursuit of American democratic ideals is part of AU’s DNA." I hope all AU alumni take her lead and vote!
 
Speaking of President Burwell in the news, it is especially exciting to see her make headlines alongside one of us. Sylvia, along with alumna Frances Townsend, recently co-chaired a task force that produced a new report for the Council on Foreign Relations. Released last week, the report explores—understanding that COVID-19 will not be the last global pandemic—how to prepare for the next crisis of this type. If you missed it in last week's AU Together email, I hope you'll check out more at the CFR website.
 
There are so many impressive things happening at AU. Our Sine Institute of Policy and Politics features alumna Amy Dacey hosting well-known experts addressing important ant timely topics, and 11 alumni were recently named Fulbright Scholars! The new AU Together: Eagles Everywhere initiative is connecting students and alumni no matter where they are - and we have more than 30 alumni bringing their expertise to virtual classrooms this fall! 
 
Usually in October, I am encouraging alumni to return to campus for alumni weekend festivities. Of course, we can’t be on campus now, but our tradition of gathering for a Multicultural Alumni Reunion continues! Please visit the MCAR website to view a video version of the signature Celebrate! event and to learn more about events still to come (including a student-alumni panel tomorrow!).
 
As 2020 draws to a close, I know there is more good news on the horizon. And as always, please reach out if you are interested in getting more involved with AU! 
 
- Rob Johnson, SPA/BS '81