To the Case Western Reserve University Community:
Last Saturday afternoon, I joined friends at DiSanto Field to cheer on our Spartan Women’s Soccer Team in the NCAA Division III third-round tournament game against the University of Chicago.
We cheered when the Spartans took the lead with a goal in the first half and scoffed at the calls that didn’t go our way. And when the game ended in a loss for our team, we stood and applauded their historic winning season and a hard-fought game.
The afternoon was such a stark contrast to last fall, when our teams couldn’t even compete, much less welcome fans. Instead, COVID-19 cases were rising, vaccines weren’t yet authorized and public health officials advised to avoid family gatherings for the holidays.
The world, the country and our university have come a long way since then. There is still much work to do, yet there is also much to appreciate.
And with that in mind as we head into this Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share my gratitude for the progress and the good work we’ve accomplished together this past year at Case Western Reserve.
I am grateful for the COVID-19 vaccines that have curbed the spread of this virus and enabled our campus community, our families, and our friends to remain healthy and safe.
I am grateful for the boosters we’ve administered to our students, faculty and staff, and to our Cleveland neighbors. We can all do well by doing good.
I am grateful for your efforts and diligence in continuing our surveillance testing and health and safety protocols so that we can remain in-person and on-campus. Your hard work has enabled us to fully occupy our residence halls, safely resume classes, host in-person student activities and events, and, importantly, to feel a very special sense of community return.
I am grateful for the knowledge and learning that our faculty encourage and cultivate in our students. Faculty, the work you do transforms our students. You inspire them to think, to create and to solve our world’s most pressing problems in a time that often feels uncertain. I appreciate your commitment to our students.
I am grateful to our university’s excellent staff, who ensure the smooth daily operations of Case Western Reserve, despite the past year’s trying circumstances.
I am grateful for the life-changing and life-saving research that occurs each day on our campus and with our regional, national and international partners.
I am grateful that Case Western Reserve prioritizes the health and wellness of our faculty and staff. This year alone, we’ve held our health insurance premiums constant, continued to support extended time off from Christmas Eve to January 3, and created a staff hybrid work program and the upcoming “Self-Care Amidst Holiday Stress” program. Let’s keep looking out for ourselves and each other.
And finally, I am grateful to our students—the principal reason we’re here. Our students’ drive, curiosity and capacity to be change agents for this university and for the world compels me to be and to do better.
I am honored to be a part of this Case Western Reserve University family, and I hope you are too.
My wife, Karen, and I wish you all safe travels and a happy, healthy Thanksgiving holiday.
Eric W. Kaler