From the President

Happy Holidays

Dec. 11, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we conclude finals week and head into a different kind of winter break and holiday season, I wish you the very best. I want you to know how much I admire your dedication to our students, and how you not only managed to successfully transition the college online nine months ago, but also worked to continuously improve the student experience ever since.

I also want to thank you, during this season of giving, for your generosity in making donations on behalf of our students. Gifts to our Food Pantry and for emergency assistance and other basic needs are always critical, and never more so than in this precarious economy, when so many of our students have lost jobs. Donations can be made at any time during the year to the Foothill-De Anza Foundation at their secure donation site.

Many of you participated in the recent Conversation and Q&A with Senior Staff at which we asked specifically for donations for our OTI students and their children. Thank you very much for your donations, totaling $2,485. Because you were so kind in your giving, well exceeding my previous matching challenge, I have donated an additional $500 to the Foundation's COVID emergency fund for students. You still have time to help make the holidays brighter for recipients by giving through the above link.

In addition to the hardships for our students, I understand there are many pressures on all of you right now, and I want to acknowledge that. Many of you have children who are learning remotely, with all the extra work and complexities that entails. I would venture to say that almost all of you miss family and friends and being able to gather with them, and miss freely going to cultural events, restaurants and stores, as well as traveling. Many of us — certainly myself included — miss being on campus with our students and colleagues. Yet, the human toll of the coronavirus continues to be staggering, putting into perspective the social losses we have all experienced.

And while it's true that each of us has lost something in 2020, it cannot be said that nothing was gained. Certainly many of us had personal joys this year — perhaps more time to read or exercise, perhaps rescuing a pet, perhaps more time for self-reflection. My own joy in 2020 has been in joining you at De Anza. Moreover, this year we learned more about the possibilities in online learning, and how much we can all accomplish on behalf of our students. With the hope represented by the new vaccine, with the prospect of working with all of you in person at some point, and knowing that we will continue to serve our students, there is much to look forward to in 2021. The happiest of holidays to each of you.

With appreciation,

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