Letter from the editor, Kathy Van Zeeland

By Mount Mary University

Posted on April 23, 2020

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Editor’s Note: I’m writing this note at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and so far, the only certainty in the situation has been, well, uncertainty.

The borders of our world have shifted daily, making it hard to predict where we will be at the point when you are holding this magazine in your hands.

I’ve been part of Mount Mary’s emergency response team, which has met daily (sometimes even twice a day) to develop plans and communicate them to campus. Responding to the COVID-19 situation has been a test for us, how to respond to changing times in a way that aligns with the principles that have long remained our steady guide.

Though the dynamics of the situation seem ever-changing, the safety of our students and the integrity of our teaching have remained at the foundation of our decisions. Our strong sense of mission has brought us clarity because through it all, we have been guided by our commitment to accommodate the spectrum of student needs.

From housing to technology, we are adapting to providing educational experiences and conducting university business, even though we are delivering these services in a wholly different way.

The content in this issue of the Mount Mary Magazine expresses the spirit that is so present when we are together on campus and engaged in the mission of our institution. I’ve looked forward to being able to share these exciting happenings with you. But, just as we were beginning to put together the design of this issue, our editorial team could no longer work on campus together, and we have been forced to produce this remotely.

So, in addition to the spirit that we represent through our many campus initiatives, this issue is a reminder of our calling and connectedness that continues, regardless of distance.

This truly amplifies the situation we are all living through. Our relationships stay connected through digital means. Our homes have become our classrooms and offices. This virus has shaken our world as we struggle to protect the most vulnerable among us.

At many special events on campus, we sing a song, “Holy Ground,” with words by S. Kieran Sawyer SSND, that is special to our community. When I’ve heard that song until now I’ve thought of the places on campus that I hold sacred. But as we spend time apart, holy ground now means for me the courageous paths we’ve taken to heal, protect, minister and serve, even in the face of uncertain tomorrows.

Kathy Van Zeeland
Editor, Mount Mary Magazine

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