Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
The health and safety of the Butler community is our highest priority. We are closely monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as campus leaders are meeting daily to manage the University’s response. This webpage, containing University Communications, FAQ, and links to External Resources, will be updated regularly to reflect the latest developments. Visit the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention for the most up-to-date information about the status of COVID-19.
March 20, 2020
Dear Butler Community,
My sincere gratitude to all of you who have supported our students and their families as the COVID-19 crisis has necessitated student departures from residential units; faculty and students have shifted to online education; and many staff are working from home. We have received encouraging reports from faculty and students alike about their online courses in these first two days of the transition.
No doubt, the unfolding global crisis is taking an emotional toll on all of us. Even the occasional glance at social media can spark a roller coaster of emotions—from much-needed comic relief to heartbreaking stories about lives lost. Fortunately, we have incredible people in our midst who can be helpful during this difficult time. Daniel Meyers, Director of Butler’s Center for Faith and Vocation, for example, sent this message to the community earlier this week.
As I reflect upon Daniel’s words, I feel a sense of optimism about our students’ opportunities to grow and learn—not only academically, but personally—during this crisis. I feel the same optimism about all of us, as faculty and staff. This situation has forced us to redefine the manner in which we perform our work. And it has given us an opportunity to reflect upon our own vocations and roles in advancing Butler’s educational mission for the good of our students and society.
I have the incredible privilege of serving our community as president. Over the past week, this role has required me to stay quite busy, thereby focused on work as opposed to speculation about things I cannot control. I have found myself inexplicably energized as I strive to effectively lead during this time of crisis. Perhaps, to Daniel’s message, I am fulfilling my intended vocation.
As I have discussed this with friends and colleagues, both within and outside of the Butler community, many of them are energized as they dedicate themselves to efforts that will not only get us through this crisis, but will make us stronger in the long run. Doctors and nurses are caring for the sick in a situation unlike anything they have seen before; scientists are working hard to find a vaccine; innovators are pursuing new ways to address the world’s most critical needs for goods and equipment, and our faculty are finding solutions to unprecedented problems so that our students can continue to receive an outstanding Butler education.
This gives me confidence that we can each continue to use our energy and unique strengths for the greater good as we weather this crisis. In 1922, Katherine Merrill Graydon, recalling Butler amidst the double tragedies of World War I and influenza, observed, “The professors in true patriotic spirit met the demand of the occasion. Common thought, common activity, common experience, brought into close relationship all forces of the college. A spirit of devotion to duty, of sympathy in suffering, were great educative powers…”
We know that this pandemic will worsen before it improves. However, I believe that now, as then, a crisis can bring our community together for the benefit of our students and larger world. How would you like to contribute to Butler’s educational mission during this challenging time, according to your own personal vocation?
I’m confident that the answers to this question hold the key to our making a lasting and positive difference in the lives of our students and others. Together, we’ve got this!
James M. Danko
President, Butler University