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We Need Each Other

Jayson Boyers, EdD - May 11, 2021

Dear Members of the Rosemont College Community,

“We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.” – Maya Angelou 

We have reached the end of the academic year, and Commencement season is upon us. After the last fourteen or so months, I think we are all beginning to emerge a little bit from the fog of the pandemic as vaccination rates improve. We are certainly not out of the woods yet. But there is hope we are finally starting to return to some normalcy.  

When I talk to members of our community, everyone is excited to share what they are looking forward to doing next. Meeting a family member’s new baby. Attending a friend’s wedding. Going to a concert with their spouse or partner. Hugging a beloved family member they haven’t seen in over a year. What do these actions have in common? They all involve connecting to someone else who is important to them. To me, it comes down to this: We need community. We need each other. During the last year, we have been connected but disconnected. This year has been a reminder of what we lose when we don’t have the opportunity to connect with our community.  

I’ve always felt we learn best in relationship with each other. The first sentence of our mission statement emphasizes this point: we are a community of lifelong learners dedicated to academic excellence and fostering joy in the pursuit of knowledge. When we’re isolated, it’s easy to get stuck in our own story. We become better versions of ourselves when we learn from others and build a community with other people.  

Graduates, I’m sure as you look back on your time at Rosemont, your most meaningful memories are probably not from being alone in your dorms. Your memories are of a professor who sparked your interest in a new topic, a coach who cheered you on from the sidelines, or a friend who supported you during a hard time. I hope you have felt joy as you made connections with others and discovered something new while at Rosemont. 

For our community to flourish, we need each other. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni have gone above and beyond to create thriving virtual communities during the last year. Yet, I know that we have all been eagerly awaiting the community that we find and nurture from being in person. We need our tremendous faculty to teach and guide our students. We need our amazing staff to run our campus offices. Finally, we need our upcoming graduates to go forward and share their talents with the world. Every person is valued and every voice matters. I want all of our graduates’ voices to be heard and valued. 

As we reemerge, Commencement is the perfect time to shift our focus on the importance of gathering. It is a time to celebrate the important rite of passage for our seniors and SGPS graduates who have accomplished so much during a year that has been filled with challenges for many. Our small size and vigilance in keeping COVID-19 rates low has provided us the opportunity to hold multiple, small in-person Commencement ceremonies for our students. I could not be more thankful for this gift. We will be masked, but I will be able to see the joy in your eyes as you walk across the stage. 

Very soon I look forward to celebrating the outstanding achievements of our 2021 graduates and our 2020 graduates who we will welcome back to participate in this weekend’s ceremonies. The last year has been anything but normal, but you persevered. Congratulations, you did it!  

My peace to you,

Jayson Boyers