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A Holiday Letter from CityU President, Randy Frisch
To our CityU family, partners, alumni, and students,
There are no leaves on the trees on Wall Street in Seattle, and the chill in the air confirms it is the Holiday Season and the end of a challenging, and at times, a bewildering year. Together we were able to make 2020 not only a memorable year but an excellent year for students. Thank you. Partners, alumni, students, and CityU folks all demonstrated understanding and commitment to CityU and our mission. For staff and faculty, it must seem like far more than a year ago when we gathered for our Winter Celebration in January at Flatstick Mini Golf (yes, we played indoor mini-golf) at South Lake Union. It was an optimistic start to the year!
Near the end of February, I had the pleasure of going on my first (and only) international trip of 2020. CityU’s partner university, CETYS Universidad, held a reception to celebrate the recipients of the CETYS Presidential Scholarship, and I also attend the CETYS Board Dinner. It was great to meet students and CETYS Trustees, but little did I know that the rest of the year would be completely different from prior years.
On March 17th, we implemented a plan to keep students and staff healthy, we transitioned all of our work to remote, and all of our courses online. Fortunately, CityU been providing online courses and programs for more than 20 years, and our amazing faculty and staff demonstrated again how quickly we can adapt. It was so inspiring to see faculty continuing to make learning relevant and interesting for students. It was so inspiring to see our IT team to take care of every need. It was comforting to know we were all successfully battling Zoom fatigue, and to see each of you on the occasional All Hands staff meetings, or your postings in Microsoft Teams.
As summer approached, I never imagined working remotely would or could continue through summer or fall or the end of the year. But each month, this stubborn pandemic has required it, and each month you have met this unrelenting challenge, making the circumstances not only possible but ultimately, creatively, good for students.
Although we were unable to celebrate Commencement in the traditional sense for the class of 2020, our team created “congratulation packets” to spread some cheer and congratulate our graduates from afar! We were able to expand CityU’s opportunities for students in the field of technology, introducing 17 new programs for the School of Technology, ranging from undergraduate certificates to master and doctorate programs. CityU’s External Relations Department created “Learn With CityU” webinar series, featuring local leaders, to provide our community with information on how to adapt, learn, and prepare for education and COVID-19.
Last week, the fall quarter ended, and only a few moments remain in 2020. Before it slips away, I would like to thank you for being a part of the CityU family and your commitment to help
CityU is the best institution possible. Your extra efforts – staying late to help a student, creating a new system to make your department more efficient, listening to students or colleagues, or just sending good thoughts our way – thank you. You make City University of Seattle such a special place to learn and work! You are and continue to be an inspiration!
I wish you each a safe and healthy Holiday Season, and I hope during it, you can take a moment or two to consider how very grateful I am for all you’ve done in 2020 for CityU and our students.
Randy C. Frisch
City University of Seattle President
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