Dear Arts & Letters Community:
Congratulations on getting to the conclusion of the Spring 2020 semester! As many of you may know, Cal State LA plans to postpone Commencement 2020 until we can celebrate safely and in accordance with public health orders. In the meantime, the Cal State LA Office of Public Affairs will be launching a special “Class of 2020 Recognition” website. Many departments are also recognizing their graduates in creative – and safely distanced – ways until such time as we can reschedule the official Commencement Ceremony. We’ll be linking to those celebrations and recognitions on social media using the hashtags #CalStateLAGrad and #CalStateLAAL2020.
In my three decades in higher education, this semester has been the most challenging I have experienced. What has made it challenging for me is the high level of uncertainty and the very fluid situation, which changed almost daily throughout March and April. Please give yourself permission to pause and acknowledge that our current situation has affected all aspects of our lives: family life; academic life; work life; social life; and even our religious or spiritual life. Many members of our community have managed to complete their coursework, often despite a lack of bandwidth or technology; others have struggled to do so; and many have had to postpone activities completely and indefinitely. Regardless of the outcome of this single unique semester, your education in the Cal State LA College of Art & Letters provides you with some of the skills the current situation needs: oral and written communication, collaboration (even when virtual), creativity, and, perhaps most importantly for the current moment, the ability to manage ambiguity and change.
If you scroll down, you’ll read about some recent “bright spots” in the College: the successful partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to provide a professional development opportunity for Community Teaching Artists; a national award for a Communication Studies graduating senior; a coveted internship for an art history student; and some highlights from our amazing College of Arts & Letters faculty.
Whether you’re in the class of 2020, the class of 2023, an alum from the class of 1950 or anywhere in between, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones, stay well, and stay in touch! I hope to see you soon virtually, or in person later this year.
Go Golden Eagles – Soar!
Dr. Linda Essig, Dean