It’s May. This is a month that is normally filled with many in-person celebrations, presentations, and gatherings of all kinds. But not this year. We close out the academic year working, studying, and learning remotely. It is surreal and has been for almost two months now.

But Suffolk is a vibrant place, and our students, our faculty, and our staff are not easily deterred. Despite the challenges, many traditions — serious and celebratory — have continued this spring. SGA continued to meet over Zoom, as did so many of our student organizations. The Honors Symposium took place remotely with judges from across campus participating. The Alumni Office and the Law School have organized a Law Virtual Networking Initiative, and a webinar for graduating students on navigating these challenging times, among many other timely offerings. And Springfest, a tradition that has been part of Suffolk for nearly a half century, moved forward. Yes, the format was different, with performances delivered remotely, but they were fabulous! And the finale was truly a community experience not to be missed. But never fear, if you did miss it you can still watch it here.

Yes, this spring and this month are different. But as I reflect back on this time period years from now I will remember a student body that continued to work hard and to learn despite this pandemic and all the stress it brought with it. I will remember faculty who transformed their classes and staff whose approach to engaging with students and alumni shifted modalities but went on with the same commitment and enthusiasm. And I will remember Zoom meetings with students one-on-one and in groups that were not that different from the many times a student would drop into my office at 73 Tremont Street. The best of who we are as an educational community has continued. Learning has continued. Gathering and having fun through virtual means has continued. I do look forward to when we can all safely come back together in person, but until then, I am so grateful and so proud that so many of our traditions have continued.

And to the class of 2020, never fear. When we can gather again, we will celebrate you all in person at one of our proudest traditions, Commencement. We will have more on that to share in the near future.

Wishing you all good health,


Marisa J. Kelly