Dear UMPI Community,
This time of year brings the promise of renewal and rebirth, from the spring equinox of just three weeks past, to Easter and Passover, Vaisakhi and the Bengali and Tamil New Years, and the celebration of Lailat al Bara’ah. As challenged and disrupting as these days and weeks have been, we wish you joy and the reassurance of a world that, with vigilance and assistance from us all, will see the promise of this renewal.
Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought stress and challenges that none of us envisioned at the start of the semester. But the selfless and remarkable acts by those within the UMPI community remind us all that a university is not a collection of buildings and fields, of physical classrooms and laboratories, of dorms and dining halls. Rather, a university is defined by the people within it and whom it serves and is only as strong and resilient as the support and care which we provide for one another. From deployment in the Vermont National Guard in support and comfort for those impacted by COVID-19, to the daily rendering of informational maps tracking the developments of the disease (shared now by people all over Maine, New England, and beyond), to the installation of a Wellness Shelter within our own Wieden Gymnasium to provide for those in need all across Aroostook County—these are just a few of the remarkable acts of kindness and humility that comprise the community that we call the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Add to that the daily interactions between faculty and students, the formal and informal support occurring through phone, video conferencing, and social media, the ad hoc committees and task forces and program planning meetings, let alone the daily messages between friends, no matter how far apart we might be physically, and we truly begin to see what defines us as a University.
Please remember that support is always available: You can “click” here for help at any time; you can call the University Info Line at 207-768-9532; and emails and phone numbers of all offices and services are listed on the UMPI MyCampus portal page.
We are planning to be back to “normal” for the Fall 2020 semester and to see you all in person on our beautiful campus—as well as virtually through our online courses and our YourPace programs. But I hope you can take comfort that this University, in person or at a distance, in Aroostook County or anywhere else in this world, is always here for you. And that it is each and every one of you, in your perseverance in your coursework and your support for each other, that truly makes this a special community.