Letter to the Editor: An open letter to the class of 2020
Alumni know your anxieties and are here to help
To the American University Class of 2020 –
I am so sorry that you are graduating in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. I can only imagine the disappointment and heartbreak the impact of this disease has had on you. You have worked incredibly hard, and on the cusp of celebrating your success, through no fault of your own, you are being deprived of finishing your final semester on campus at AU. And, of course, I can only imagine the anxiety and concern you face over the prospect of graduating into the current economic environment.
My message to you is do not lose heart. You have the tools you need to weather this storm, and you are not alone. The University’s administration and faculty, and YOUR Alumni Association, are committed to supporting you during this challenging time.
During your time at AU, you have learned much, but perhaps more importantly, you have gained skills that will prove invaluable: resilience, adaptability, flexibility and creativity. These skills are what you need to overcome the challenges that lie ahead, and you will emerge stronger – as the bold and industrious changemakers we know you to be. That may not seem obvious right now, but many AU alumni also graduated into challenging times (though to be sure, nothing like this), and we speak from experience when we say that you can and will succeed. Life is a team sport, and we are on your side.
YOUR Alumni Board and alumni around the world are working with the University to develop resources to help you navigate this next phase. For example, we are working to create virtual seminars on interviewing, breaking into various careers and resume preparation. We are available to network and mentor as you begin your job search or consider furthering your education. Please reach out to the Career Center and use tools, such as Alumnifire, to contact us. A lot of committed people are on your side. And alumni have a stake in your success. We walk with you during these difficult times.
Trust me, you will make yourselves, your families and your friends exceedingly proud. We mean it when we say, “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle,” and as you join the alumni family, know that we are here to help you soar.
Rob Johnson is an SPA alumnus and the president of the AU Alumni Association.