An Important Message from President Sabah Randhawa

May 5, 2020

Dear members of the Western Family,

As you know by now, last week we announced that all classes and instruction will be offered remotely throughout spring quarter on our main campus, and at all centers, facilities and operations statewide. Needless to say, the global coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty and stress for us all. Please know that the health and well-being of each of you and your loved ones has been on my mind.

As I said in a recent blog post, it is too early to tell what impact COVID-19 is going to have on human health, political and financial systems, and our social structures. Nevertheless, I have faith in human resilience, adaptability and ingenuity, and I believe we will come out of this crisis stronger and more deeply connected than ever before.

I know that each of you is coping with your own challenges, and like me, you probably have more questions than answers at this point. One thing I know for sure is that we will defeat this challenge faster by working together to ensure educational continuity and the well-being of our community members, especially those most vulnerable among us.

I have been deeply touched by the outpouring of concern from many of you asking what you can do to help. We have established a Student Emergency Fund to provide relief to students who are experiencing financial hardship during this difficult and uncertain time.

Gifts to the Student Emergency Fund will directly benefit Western Washington University students and provide relief for unforeseen challenges arising from the move to remote learning and the loss of employment on campus and in our communities. This reserve is a financial lifeline for our students in crisis and will help to ensure that needs such as housing and food security, travel expenses, technology to support virtual learning, and scholarship support for tuition and fees are met.

As students’ lives are disrupted, we seek to support them in every possible way, and we very much appreciate your help. To learn more about this fund, please visit:

I have been greatly impressed by the many ways in which our faculty, staff and students have mobilized to prepare for this quarter with a spirit of innovation and exploration. We fully expect that active learning, research, and the great variety of programs and offerings that Western is known for will continue online with the same creativity and commitment to quality that they do in person. I look forward to keeping you apprised of our efforts, and of the many things we will learn along the way including new innovations that can be applied to our ongoing work as we make our way out of this crisis.

I want you to know what a valuable part of the Western family you are and how much we appreciate your commitment to being part of this mobilization, and for everything you do to support this institution. Thank you.

Most importantly in this difficult and virtual time, please stay connected! You can follow us on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page, and stay up to date on important news at Western’s coronavirus website.

Please know that we are thinking about you. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions on what more we can do to facilitate connections and social interactions from afar. For now, please safe and healthy.

With deepest gratitude,

Sabah Randhawa