Class of 2024:
You’ve heard it from your parents, professors, administrators, and so many others within our tightly-knit support network here at F&M. Now, you’ll hear it from me. I am so proud of this Class. I’ve noticed that missing high school graduation, missing prom, missing some last youthful moments with friends — these have a way of changing a person. Instead of bottling up your frustration with our situation, you were able to embrace change. You were able to embrace our opportunity to make the most of a challenging situation. Now, while the majority of us are away physically, I ask you to embrace each other. Reach out to those you know, but also extend a warm and welcoming hand to those you don’t know.
You set not only expectations for yourself but expectations for others. You stayed true to the F&M Pledge and rose to this unusual occasion. You’ve allowed hundreds of our Sophomore Diplomats to return to campus for the first time in eleven months. You have allowed the College to remain confident in students’ ability to follow precautions and safety guidelines. You have earned our Class a highly respectable name and reputation that I anticipate will stay for years to come. Whether or not it’s clear, your sacrifices and diligence are noticed and have set unprecedented precedents for students at F&M and other Colleges worldwide.
Your Class Cabinet has been hard at work planning our upcoming virtual events for the semester. You will soon receive correspondence from a committee focused solely on Class engagement, inquiries, suggestions, and involvement. They are currently creating an easy and effective way to answer questions regarding upcoming events (not limited to Class-organized events), student life, academic and mental health resources, and so much more. Another committee is organizing our virtual spirit weeks behind the scenes by evaluating platforms, incorporating recommendations from the engagement committee, putting to use an allocated budget, and planning all other aspects of this event.
In collaboration with the College, another committee is working in partnership with the House Dons to finalize a coherent and highly-involved mentor/mentee program to provide further guidance and resources to all interested first-years. As discussed in last Wednesday’s Town Hall, this will be an excellent opportunity for first-years to build and foster relationships with other students. First-years will gain valuable wisdom and resources from Sophomores — nearly all of whom have spent a semester remote themselves — and later take part in challenging discussions regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to these conversations between mentors and mentees, Vice President Gretchel Hathaway and I will lead conversations regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, geared towards providing first-year students with the awareness and alertness needed to retain a friendly and sensible community. We also have other surprises that we will announce at later dates!
Stay safe, Class of 2024. We will all see each other soon. With humility and care,
President of the Franklin and Marshall Class of 2024