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Letter from Chancellor Robinson - Thank You

Dear Ram Family,

The highlight of new student orientation at Winston-Salem State occurs when our incoming freshmen walk through the archway. During this ceremony, they formally demonstrate to each other and the larger community their commitment to our motto: Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve.

In the midst of this global public health emergency, the Ram Family has answered that call to serve.

Our students have answered the call by adapting to a completely different form of educational delivery. Students are working through technology challenges, uncertainty, and changes to their support networks.

Our faculty have answered the call by completely changing the way they were delivering their classes. Under normal circumstances, this process would take months if not years of planning, but faculty embraced technology and powered through a very difficult time crunch so that they could continue to serve our students.

Our staff have answered the call by navigating unfamiliar territory, quickly adapting to work from home, oftentimes with the addition of now serving as teacher for school-aged children. Staff have met this challenge and helped ensure the University could stay up and running for our faculty and students.

And Rams everywhere have answered that call, from those running essential businesses to the everyday sacrifices we’re all making to stay home, reduce the spread of the virus, and take care of our families and neighbors.

Perhaps no group is making a bigger sacrifice than the members of the Ram Family who work in healthcare. The same scene is playing out around the world. Individuals who work in healthcare are kissing their families goodbye and heading to work in hospitals and healthcare facilities that are struggling to keep up with the demand placed on their resources by COVID-19. These men and women are providing care to strangers, knowing that they are likely to contract this life-threatening virus themselves. At WSSU, we understand how hard these professionals work every day to save lives. Thank you for being at the forefront of patient care during this global pandemic.

Serving can seem at odds with our own self-interests, because service means sacrifice. Real service requires giving something of ourselves—often our time, sometimes our money, nearly always our selfish preferences—all to help someone else. This can feel frustrating when we can’t always see the direct impact our sacrifices make, but we know that just one person can make an impact on reducing the spread of this disease. When we stand together, we can help save countless lives, and I am grateful to all Rams for joining with me during this difficult time to do just that. The more life you live, the more you’ll realize looking back that you were at your best when you were serving others.


Elwood L. Robinson, Ph.D.

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