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A Note from Noelle: Together

A smiling USU President Noelle Cockett in her office.
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Dear Aggies, friends, and neighbors,

It is likely that the constant news about COVID-19 and rapid changes in response to the pandemic have caused you anxiety.

For USU, changes came very quickly in response to our efforts to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 cases. All face to face courses were moved to a remote learning environment on March 18 and all spring events and non-essential university travel have been cancelled through May 1, and possibly beyond. All university employees are now working remotely whenever possible. However, in spite of all these changes and decisions, I am confident that we will emerge at the end as one caring, supportive Aggie family.

Our campuses and centers are currently sparsely populated because we have emphasized the importance of social distancing and staying home. However, the core of our institution—research, teaching, and outreach are going strong although they are being done remotely. Utah State is uniquely prepared to provide an uninterrupted educational experience for students. Research relevant in today’s and tomorrow’s world as well as outreach that helps individuals, families, and communities remain resilient.

In just over a week, members of the Aggie family have provided overwhelming support to the USU Student Emergency Hardship Fund, which is intended for these situations. Thank you to those who have contributed.

Although shifting many of our spring semester courses from in person to remote delivery was done in a very short timeframe, our transition has gone remarkably well. That is because Utah State is one of the nation’s long-time leaders in innovative online education. We will continue to offer online and remote classes during the upcoming summer semester.

COVID-19 is having many effects, including profound financial impacts. The next few months will be especially difficult for our students who have recently lost jobs or been separated from their families, and are struggling to make ends meet. Unexpected expenses today threaten the ability for many students to continue their education tomorrow.

In just over a week, members of the Aggie family have provided overwhelming support to the USU Student Emergency Hardship Fund, which is intended for these situations. Thank you to those who have contributed. Your generosity has made a huge impact on the lives of our students and shown how Aggies support other Aggies. If you are able, please consider a gift to the Student Emergency Hardship Fund. Your generosity will help Utah State students secure their education and their future.

While a major disappointment was the cancellation of spring on-campus commencement ceremonies, we are planning exciting on-campus celebrations in Logan on Aug. 28 and 29 and at the statewide campuses in the fall. The dates of all events are contingent upon public health circumstances. More details will be released in the future.

I continue to be awed and comforted by how our Aggie family has pulled together to get things done and take care of each other. As a message of solidarity and support, the Old Main “A” will be turned blue until further notice.

Please stay well and remember, we are Aggie Strong.

–Noelle E. Cockett, USU President
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