The record snowfalls of the last two weeks that crippled our region have also presented a very serious challenge to our university. We were forced to shut down the campus for more than a week and experience major disruption to the educational process for our students and planned extracurricular activities and events. The campus has survived, however, and three groups of workers deserve special recognition for their efforts in going the extra mile in service to our institutional mission. On behalf of the entire university community, I extend a special debt of gratitude to the university's Department of Public Safety, which continued to patrol and protect the campus during the shutdown, and the Thompson Hospitality staff for really extending themselves to continue to provide dining service for students who live in the residence halls.
Our facilities staff, especially, has done a Herculean job! Saturday, I was told that some of them had not been home for a week! They showed extraordinary dedication and determination in trying to remove huge amounts of snow from the campus sidewalks and parking lots with too few people and woefully inadequate equipment for the task at hand. Today, the campus is far from being completely clear, just like the entire region, but it is clear enough for us to resume serving our vital educational mission because of their efforts!
Please join me in saluting these wonderful men and women and expressing our sincere appreciation when you see them!