You are here: American University President Announcements May 11, 2020

AU Memo Letterhead

Dear AU Community,

Thank you.

With all the complexities of COVID-19 and all that has been previously said, it really comes down to those simple yet powerful two words.

Thank you for your flexibility and your support. Thank you for your creativity and your innovation. Thank you for your commitment and your perseverance. Thank you for showing the world what makes AU Eagles so special.

It was wonderful to thank and celebrate our amazing 2020 graduates during this weekend’s commencement. I hope you watched the video. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. delivered inspiring words that not only captured this unique moment but can serve as a guiding light for our students for years to come. So many of our deans, faculty, alumni, and friends shared well wishes and heartfelt congratulations. While we all would have preferred to be together in Bender Arena, you could feel our community’s pride and excitement for the Class of 2020. I’m hoping to see our May 2020 graduates at our special commencement ceremony in December.

With the semester complete and commencement celebrated (for now, don’t forget about December’s ceremony!), we look ahead. Our teams are hard at work on our fall planning, and we’ll communicate our approach for the fall semester in June. As previously mentioned, this is the final planned weekly COVID-19 message for the summer. I’ll continue to check in with you, and you can find regular updates on the COVID-19 Resources page, where we post news and developments and which now features our summer information. One change you will see on the site is that we are sunsetting the weekly reporting of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the community. Campus activity remains limited to only essential operations and there is very little in-person close contact among our community members. As the situation changes, we will continue provide information to the AU community.

However, summer does not mean it will be quiet across the AU community. We have exciting upcoming activities, with our schools and colleges bringing a variety of programs and events online. I’m looking forward to our new series, The Dean’s List, which will feature illuminating conversations with each of our deans. It starts tomorrow at 7 p.m. with the School of Communication’s Laura DeNardis talking about her groundbreaking research on the “Internet in Everything.”

As we wrap up a semester we will surely never forget, I will end where I began: thank you. Thank you to our teams working hard on important initiatives and keeping our community connected and strong. Thank you to our students and faculty for living our academic mission and our values every day. Thank you all for being part of American University and our amazing community of changemakers.

I hope you have a wonderful summer.

Be safe and be well.