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Columbus State University

June 11, 2020 - Message from President Markwood

Good afternoon,

Over the past two months, many of us have developed new habits, new ways of navigating the quiet chaos of working from home.

For me, that habit was my “Zoom shirt.”

There are several spots throughout our house in which I take calls. Our home office - or rather Bridget’s office. The den, sitting in my recliner. The patio out back, if the weather is nice. As social distancing became second nature, I became aware that I had subconsciously been stashing neatly-pressed, Cougar-branded shirts around the house so that, should I receive an unscheduled call, I could always quickly grab a work shirt, throw it on, and zoom onto the call, the picture of professionalism. And all from the comfort of my cozy Cougar gym shorts!

This morning, I was so excited to get ready for work. The act of picking out an outfit, looping a belt though my pants, actually wearing pants — never has the simple act of getting dressed seemed like such a statement of intent.

That statement? Today, we begin the work of getting back to campus to do our work. Today, we take the next giant leap into creating a new normal in which we all can thrive.

Today, we return to campus.

This stage of our Return to Campus Plan is about testing the waters, dipping our toe in the deep-end before diving in head first. So, as we wade into these new waters, I ask that you take a moment to reflect on our core value of Creativity.

As we reopen the campus, approach each opportunity or obstacle with inquiry and innovation. Creativity is all about challenging convention and what better time to question prior conventions than during this paradigm shift brought about by the pandemics and protests of 2020. Let creativity be your guide as we focus on solutions to the issues ahead.

At Columbus State University, we are creative to the core. That is our promise, and now our roar. When the world is in flux, we must create order from the chaos.

That work begins today. I look forward to the “new normal” we create together.

On a disappointing side note, the Spring graduation ceremony that was tentatively scheduled for August 8 must be postponed. Large gatherings in confined spaces are still discouraged and it is in our best interest to follow that recommendation.

We regret having to cancel the ceremony, but the safety of our graduates, their families, faculty, and staff must remain our number one priority. Other times and dates for the ceremony are being considered, but with the fluid situation of the pandemic, nothing has been confirmed. We will be in touch when a definitive decision is made.

This was not an easy decision, but please know that the Cougar family is proud of the accomplishments of our graduates and wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Thanks again for all you do for our students, our community, and for each other.

I hope to see you around campus — soon!

Dr. Markwood's Signature

President Chris Markwood