President Martin's Letter to Alumni and Friends

Alumni and Friends:

I pray that wherever this message finds you, that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. There have been many changes to our Home among the Hills over the last few weeks. At the forefront of every decision we have made has been the safety of our students, faculty and staff and the essential need to emerge from this crisis as a stronger Falcon Family.

Monday, March 23, marked a historic moment in our University's history as we began delivery of virtual instruction (and advising) to all our students. Our faculty, students, staff, and administration deserve kudos for leaping into this uncharted territory without hesitation or complaint.

The coming weeks as “Virtual Falcons” won't be easy, but we will press on together, learning from both the opportunities and the challenges of our new reality. We will be reminded of the irreplaceable value of our “high- touch” community and the strength and joy we find in our shared humanity. This, of course, is at the heart of a Fairmont State education.

Yesterday, we announced that due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and recommendations by the CDC, White House, the Governor and the WV-DHHR, Fairmont State University will complete the remainder of the semester, including final exams, through digital modalities.

Although we will not be able to physically be together, the culminating achievements of our graduating students will be celebrated through a Virtual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9. In addition to the virtual celebration, at this time we are also planning to observe our traditional Commencement rites and rituals later this fall. A tentative date of Saturday, August 8 has been set.

These are just a few of the many changes we have had to make over the last few weeks. To keep you and all members of the Falcon Family informed, we have created the website www.fairmontstate.edu/COVID19. This is the best place to find up-to-date information in regard to the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also stay in touch with us through the Alumni Website and Facebook page, as-well-as the University’s social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

In the end, our story will be one of how we lifted each other up during these difficult times, and how we did our best each day as individuals and as a University to mitigate the effects of a global pandemic. It will be the story of how we changed and adapted, how we taught and learned, how we served our neighbors, how we were kind to each other, how we put aside our differences and helped one another, and how we emerged even stronger. And, how we did all of this by bonding even closer together.

I am inspired by your unwavering commitment to one another and by your devotion to be the best alumni and supporters you can be. I have been encouraged by your kind emails, notes, calls, and prayers. I am proud to call myself a Falcon!

Our campus may be closed, but our mission and our desire to serve are alive and as powerful as ever. We truly are the wellspring of aspiration and inspiration for West Virginia! From my office, I feel your warmth and your support for one another in new and profound ways. Thank you!

Keep the faith! Stay connected! #WeAreOneFalconFamily

I look forward to welcoming you back home soon.

Be well and stay healthy,

M3

Mirta M. Martin, PhD
President
Fairmont State University