Dear Anna Maria Alumni,

As a valued member of our community, I write today to let you know, that in these unprecedented times, the mission and the values of Anna Maria are alive and well. Whether it be through your own personal efforts to assist those in need, through your fellow alumni who have answered the bell in responding in so many ways to those affected by COVID-19, our faculty and staff who rolled up their sleeves and did what needed to be done to assist our students to complete their semester remotely and, lastly, our students who were understanding of the unusual circumstances and generous of spirit to assist their fellow students who needed help. This crisis has only heightened what we know to be the action necessary to support those around us – what we found as students and friends to be the core of the Anna Maria experience.

So many have reached out to offer assistance through ideas, philanthropic support and counsel to me and others who are navigating in waters never before experienced. Your show of support is not surprising given the nature of our alumni, but never more appreciated. Thank you for caring so much for the students who had their semester turned upside down, especially the seniors who will not be able to experience that last semester of deepened friendships and memories.

The speed in which our faculty converted their teaching modes to online vehicles was remarkable and our current students are engaged in completing their semester curriculum without compromising their path to degree completion. Those who typically spent their days advising, tutoring, counseling and sharing events with our students have developed programs that answer these needs and Zoom has now become our best mode of outreach for face to face contact!

We have supported our local community with supplies to facilities who needed them and have offered the campus to MEMA for any future use to house front line responders or victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Outreach from nursing, social work, music, emergency responders and education departments to assist in serving others has been ongoing and will continue as we work through this national crisis.

Our students have been resilient by sharing their remote experiences with each other through social media and were exemplary in their response to leaving campus and adapting to a new teaching style. Needless to say, the seniors were very happy to hear that we will conduct Commencement on campus this year on August 22nd. You are invited to attend this special day for it will be one that I am sure will live in their memories even more than the original one planned for May.

In short, your alma mater is truly amazing and you should be proud of the positive response, energy and kindness that has been exhibited at this difficult time. I am proud to serve as president of such an institution and thank you for your continued support of this wonderful College. You can stand tall knowing how well Anna Maria is serving and succeeding.

Mary Lou Retelle
President of Anna Maria College