March 20, 2020 at 9:00am
Dane Lisser

Millikin President Dr. Patrick E. White addresses the university community about Millikin's response to the coronavirus pandemic


Greetings, Millikin.

I want to speak to you about our current situation as the Millikin community. I wish I could be having this conversation face-to-face in a true Millikin way, but for the time being, that is not wise nor even possible. Many of you have remained on campus through our spring break and more will yet return to campus in the coming days and weeks, but there will be some students who choose to finish out their academic year at home.

Wherever you are, I want you to know that all of you - faculty, staff, and especially students remain a part of Millikin. Millikin is more than these walls and buildings. Millikin lives and moves and has its being in each and every one of you, acting out Performance Learning wherever we are. We have always said together that we are working to build the best imagination of Millikin, a place and a community that nurtures brave and courageous human beings ready to meet any challenges and opportunities that come before us. 

The coronavirus pandemic poses unique and unprecedented challenges to our world, our country, and our university. I know we will rise to these challenges with care and creativity, being nimble and flexible in the achievement of our mission goals of professional success, democratic citizenship in a global environment, and lives of meaning and value. One thing I am sure of, our work together matters. The world needs Millikin to step up and play our key role in addressing this challenge and building a better world in the wake of the pandemic.

As you complete this semester keep your focus on the work before you, the goals you want to achieve, and your growth as a person, a student, and here I include faculty and staff and alumni as well, because we are all learning new ways of being in the world.

We are all confused, nervous, and not a little bit saddened by the threat of the pandemic which has so drastically affected our life as Millikin. I am especially sad for you seniors because this was to be your last weeks on campus with senior recitals, plays, art shows and musicals; athletic events including our first season in the new Workman Family baseball field, and individual chances to share work and receive the appreciation and praise of friends, families, and faculty, as you complete your Millikin University experience.

I feel this especially because 2020 is my class, if you will.  I too am "graduating" this year and I will not get to say a personal goodbye to those of my fellow students who have taught me so much of what it means to be Millikin. But just as Millikin is not bordered by the space of the campus, it is not bounded by the time we spend here. As all you alumni know, Millikin is a moveable feast that travels with you wherever you go, now and for the rest of our lives.

We all need to remember that Millikin has been through tough times before, the challenges of economic downturns, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and so much more have been met by a Millikin community resolute and brave, people of strong hearts and inventive intellects, people for whom Performance Learning runs through every fiber of their lives.

I ask you to keep performing what you know, feel and think, make the remainder of this semester a time of excellence and achievement. I will try to do the same. Know that whatever we face, we face together, and that wherever we are we are bound together by our highest aspirations of Millikin and the Big Blue spirit. You carry Millikin with you wherever you are and wherever you are please know that I admire you and am proud of what you are doing, and I say to you again, my strongest prayer, my heartiest boast, and my loving and amazed praise, "Ah, there you are, Millikin."   

Be well, be safe, and keep Millikin in your hearts.

Patrick E. White