Delivering his fall 2020 Opening Remarks speech virtually through Microsoft Teams, Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan encouraged all faculty and staff to be “Pioneer Strong” as they head into the new school year.
“Given the COVID-19 issues, heated discussions around race, social justice, police brutality, historical monuments, opening K-12s, a presidential election, a struggling economy, and the list can go on and on, my suggestion this afternoon as we gather to celebrate this new semester is that we embrace a spirit of ‘Pioneer Strong,’” Sullivan said.
Shedding some light on the meaning of Pioneer Strong, Sullivan said, “It may mean many different things. I turn to the mission and vision of this college and the legacy of over 100 years of graduating successful students.”
The president continued, “Will that mean we will always agree? No. Will that mean we should not be civil in our discourse? No. Does that mean at the end of the day we don’t focus on our students? No. Does that mean we do not respect the opinion and values of our colleagues? No. Does that mean we deny the things that make this college great? No. I could go on and on, but ladies and gentlemen, it is time we come together and make this semester the very best we can, given the circumstances.”
Sullivan reinforced the importance of making the semester a positive one, especially for students, and asked employees to take all precautions to stay safe as they return to their jobs.
“We will be working with students and employees to make sure we all comply with the protocols that have been established, and remember, some may change as time moves on,” the president said. “We can guarantee no one’s safety, but I will say our campus is extraordinarily safer than when you left in March. Thank you all for what you do. We are all in this together. Working shoulder to shoulder and together, we are ‘Pioneer Strong.’”
Additionally, Sullivan spoke about programs in development, facilities upgrades, athletics, achievements, the college budget, and more.