We remain committed to our community, our mission

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin speaks to Washington readers about university efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic, racial inequities and more.

At a safe distance, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin welcomes new and returning students and their parents during move-in. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)
At a safe distance, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin welcomes new and returning students and their parents during move-in. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)

Greetings from Washington University. During this season, things look quite a bit different as we navigate an unprecedented fall semester in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Despite all the adaptations we’ve made to help keep our community safe, one commitment remains constant: our mission to improve lives in service of the greater good.

Over the past year, it has been another constant — our sense of community — that has shaped our responses to multiple national and global crises. In that time, the world has seemingly turned upside down amidst a global pandemic, the ongoing quest for equity and justice for Black people in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, and the economic uncertainty caused by massive job losses and business closures in this country. At Washington University, we’ve worked diligently, together, to respond to each of these challenges as we’ve faced a number of other resulting concerns — namely, the continued well-being of our community and the financial health of our institution in light of COVID-19.

Every day, though, I am reminded of the strength of Washington University and the importance of our mission. I am reminded of the role we play in developing life-changing interventions and treatments, cultivating globally minded leaders, bringing to light injustices in our communities and around the world, and bringing people together for a higher purpose. I am reminded of the people who came before — those who stood for truth and those who helped make the university what it is today. The late William H. Danforth was one of those people, and throughout his nearly seven decades of service, he forged a profound and indelible legacy that will remain in our community in perpetuity. I also am reminded of the dedicated people on our campuses today who are carrying that legacy forward and working together to advance our mission in our community — in St. Louis and for St. Louis — as well as across the country and around the world.

In this issue, you’ll learn about some of the ways we’re using our education, research and patient care to help address the many local, national and global challenges we face. As you read the pages that follow, I hope you’ll also be reminded of the strength of our community and the steadfast power of our mission. These are the constants that make WashU truly unique and distinctive — constants that make me proud to serve as your chancellor and equally proud to be an alumnus.

Especially now, it’s important for us to be #WashUtogether as we weather these storms and continue to serve the greater good for years and decades to come. To that end, I’m particularly grateful for people like you who embody these constants and our Washington University ethos. Thank you, as always, for your continued support of Washington University.

Warm and safe wishes to all of you as you continue to navigate this difficult season of life.

Andrew D. Martin

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