August 30,2020

Dear faculty colleagues,

In a summer that has featured far too many emails from me, I ask your indulgence for one final Monday letter from Waul House as the semester begins.

I hope you were able to spend some time with friends and loved ones over the last several months.  Time away from campus helped remind me of what matters most and why we’re called, with a particular urgency, to teach and engage with our students---whether in person or remotely---this semester. 

This is the 23rd first day of classes that I’ve been a part of as a member of the Boston College community, and it’s unlike any of my first 22.  Masks, physical distancing, and all the new protocols of our 2020 campus life are going to take some getting used to.  We’ll certainly run into some challenges in the coming days and weeks, but the hard work and commitment of so many across campus have put us in a good position to start the term. 

Like so many of you, over the last few months I’ve been grappling with what this moment requires of us.  Our work as educators this fall demands that we recognize the enormous historical forces that have upended our individual and collective lives over the past six months.  The students we’re blessed to have in our classes are looking for models for how to respond to this ongoing pandemic with grace and humanity.  All of us are called to engage in meaningful ways with the national reckoning regarding race and justice that has only intensified in recent days.  This provost points proudly to the football team and coaches for their modeling last week a collective conversation about race and our responsibility to the common good.  I hope that when our students someday look back on their experiences in our classrooms this semester, they will recognize the range of graceful, imaginative, and principled approaches their Boston College professors took in answering these demands of the moment.

I look forward to further in-person and virtual conversations with many of you as the semester unfolds.  For now, let me note that after too many months of life on a quiet campus, it’s great to be back doing what we do best---teaching and learning in our vibrant community.

Good luck, and a sincere thank you for all that you are doing for our students and for one another.  


David Quigley
Provost and Dean of Faculties


Fall 2020