Dear Rider community,
For many of us, the break in between semesters offers an opportunity to rest, relax and recharge. Living through this trying period of history, goodness knows we deserved such a break this year. It was no small feat returning to in-person living and learning in the fall. As we wrapped up the semester, it seemed as if we might finally be able to take a deep breath and savor a moment of peace.
Enter Omicron — a variant more infectious than anything we have seen since the pandemic began. As I digested the news and considered the implications, I couldn’t help but feel as if we had climbed a mountain only to find another mountain ahead of us.
But as we prepare to begin the spring semester, I am confident we can successfully navigate this phase of the pandemic together. We have been here before. We know we can mitigate risk if we stay smart and flexible, follow the science, and behave responsibly. We have the tools to reduce the severity of illness, if infected. It may be unrealistic to imagine this semester will be free of disruption, but it is within our power to minimize any disruptions that occur.
What bolsters my confidence is my faith in you. If the pandemic has taught me one thing, it’s that nothing can stop our students from achieving their goals, and nothing will prevent our faculty and staff from working tirelessly to support them and our institution.
We are a community of gifted educators and learners. Students have always enrolled at Rider to advance their personal and professional interests. To enrich their imaginations and help them dream bigger dreams. To gain the skills and experiences that will launch them into successful careers.
Every class that has come before has faced its own challenges, and overcome them. We will overcome our present challenges too. This semester, stay safe, stay vigilant and don’t ever lose sight of the big picture about what you’re achieving and where your education will take you.
Gregory G. Dell'Omo, Ph.D.