This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on December 16, 2020.
As we reflect on the past year, a year like no other, we cannot help but be grateful to the thousands of UH Mānoa employees and students who came together strongly to ensure that our work would continue.
Not only did that work continue, it manifested itself in new, sometimes unexpected, and wonderfully impactful ways.
Our faculty switched to online delivery of courses with days’ notice in the spring, and further refined their approach to instruction during the summer in order to support student learning despite the distances between us. Our staff worked tirelessly to support our joint missions of excellent education, leading-edge research and service. They kept our offices running smoothly, our buildings and classrooms well prepared and clean, and our residence halls and student support operating in a safe and effective manner. Our campus leadership teams worked collaboratively across units and disciplines to ensure the effective and equitable distribution of resources as we navigated the complex challenges of the public health and fiscal crises.
And our students continued to learn and to support one another despite the painful separation caused by the pandemic, and the very real challenges and anxiety they faced each and every day of the semester.
Throughout, our ʻohana at UH Mānoa came together in support of the broader communities that we serve. Faculty, staff and students volunteered in large numbers to support the response to the pandemic. From providing direct medical aid to assisting with the delivery of essential food and supplies to those in need, to guiding state and local officials in the medical and economic response to the crisis, and in designing and manufacturing of personal protective equipment and medical devices, UH Mānoa was there. And we will continue to be there, a source of caring and inspiration for Hawaiʻi.
As we embark on a New Year, our hope is that 2021 will bring us even closer together. Science has found a way forward, and when combined with our spirit and our dedication to our university, there will be brighter days ahead.
From my family to yours, may this holiday season bring you joy, health and peace.
E mālama pono,
UH Mānoa Provost