As the COVID-19 pandemic casts a shadow on all aspects of our daily lives, I know it has impacted each and every one of us. This is truly an unprecedented global threat—and we are facing it at Chico State with courage and conviction.

We are prioritizing the safety of our entire campus community, while also not letting this virus stand in the way of our commitment to serve students and support their success.

If you were to arrive on our beautiful Chico State campus today, you would find it dramatically different. The classrooms, residence halls, and pathways are quiet; and the typical exuberance of spring semester has been replaced with silence.

But behind the scenes, our virtual spaces are resoundingly active, with 1,000 instructors delivering more than 3,800 course sections in online and alternative formats. At the same time, we continue to provide essential services—from academic advising, tutoring, tech support, financial aid, and mental health services—through phone calls, video conferences, and online chat.

We have provided laptops and webcams to those in need, continued to provide housing for residence hall occupants without another place to stay, kept the WellCat Health Center open for everyday care, and ensured students facing food insecurity still have access to the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry.

With determination and dedication, we reimagined learning and working at Chico State. As we tackle logistical and technological challenges, all of us have expanded and stretched our capabilities to learn new things, myself included. Has it been hectic? Yes. Has it been stressful? Definitely! But while this shift is monumental, it has not been insurmountable.

Was there ever any doubt that Chico State could rise to the occasion?

Our campus is no stranger to adversity. Not only did we survive the deadliest wildfire in California history, we emerged from the Camp Fire with a greater commitment to one another and a belief in our own resilience as a community. With COVID-19, Chico State is standing in the face of hardship once again. We join the state, nation, and the world in combating a virus the likes of which has never been seen in our lifetimes.

I am deeply grateful to the Chico State family for coming together to meet this unprecedented challenge. Our rapid adaptation to telecommuting and online learning has reshaped our institution and perhaps even provided a spark of new opportunities for the future. Chico State continues its 133-year-old mission to educate the leaders of tomorrow, and you can be proud that we remain resilient and strong.

Be well and take care of one another. Thank you for doing all you can to keep yourself, your loved ones, and others safe.

Gayle E Hutchinson - signature