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Published on March 02, 2022

Final Thoughts with VP DeLisa

DeLisaFor the past two years and counting, Eastern’s students, faculty, staff — and yes, our alumni too! — have bravely managed their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. On campus, we have adjusted to conditions on the ground by offering online, hybrid and on-ground classes, while using a range of health and safety protocols to keep our campus safe. Eastern consistently has had the highest percentage of on-ground classes, the largest residential student population and the lowest COVID rates in our state system, a tribute to the commitment that the campus community has made to educating our students in a safe environment.

We have seen the power of human perseverance on our campus and the ability of students, faculty and staff to adapt to adversity.  Nonetheless, this diligence has not come without costs. The number of students seeking help from our counseling services confirms the impact COVID is having on students’ mental health. Some have “stopped out” due to emotional stress or financial hardship. Others have elected to take all their classes online out of concern for their personal health. Families already challenged by the rising cost of higher education have been further burdened by COVID-related illness, the loss of employment and other financial and health-related issues. 

During these past two years, I have been encouraged and inspired by the continued generosity of Eastern donors. We have seen several estate gifts and other major donations, additional endowed scholarships to honor family members, and other philanthropy to support Eastern students with unmet financial need. Just as our campus community has responded to COVID by proving its mettle and learning new ways to thrive, our supporters have used this time to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to Connecticut’s only public liberal arts university. 

I want to thank each person who has risen to the occasion to help Eastern continue to offer its students an outstanding education on our beautiful residential campus. With your support, I believe that Eastern will emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever as a “University of First Choice” for Connecticut residents and other students. Thank you!

Kenneth J. DeLisa

Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Chief Human Resources Officer