Celebrating some much-needed good news

Spring term gives us so many reasons to feel optimistic. We’re moving quickly toward the end of the academic year. Federal relief funding is arriving at PSU, much of it earmarked for direct student financial aid, and soon all of us will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

That’s a lot of good news coming to us all at once.

By May 1, all Oregonians over the age of 18 will become eligible for the vaccine. I urge everyone to get vaccinated when they can — unless your doctor advises against it — and protect yourself and our community from the virus.

I’m also heartened by the news of more federal relief on its way to Portland State, including more than $30 million that will be set aside for direct financial aid for students. I know it will take some time for many to recover from the past year — both economically and emotionally — but knowing these resources are coming into place I hope will plant the seed of hope for those who are struggling. The relief funding will also help PSU offset financial losses that would otherwise burden the university for years to come.

The unpredictable nature of COVID-19 requires us to remain cautious and vigilant, but vaccination rates of Oregonians are on the rise and state health authorities are working with universities on a safe reopening plan. Like many of you, I eagerly anticipate our safe return to PSU’s campus in the fall.

I am grateful for the students who have persevered through weeks of Zoom classes, found new ways to connect with each other and continued to shine academically.

I am grateful for our faculty whose grace, grit and creativity allowed PSU to continue to foster the work of learning and research that serves our wonderful students and beats at the heart of the Portland community.

And I am grateful for every professional staff member who kept Portland State not only operational but excellent despite the many challenges of the past year.

I look forward to seeing you all on campus in a few short months. In the meantime, take care of each other and Go Vikings!