About Manchester

May 14 Update


From: President <President@manchester.edu>
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 9:33 AM
To: All Colleagues <AllColleagues@manchester.edu>
Subject: May 14 Update

Dear Colleagues,

It is hard to believe Commencement was going to be this weekend. I recorded several graduation-related videos recently. Standing on the mall in my regalia, alone but for Nate Corder who was filming, felt like being in an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”

So much about how this year is ending feels stuck between reality and make-believe:

  • No Commencement weekend activities.
  • Faculty retiring without handshakes and hugs from colleagues.
  • Celebrating important service milestones through video rather than in person.

That said, there is much to celebrate:

  • Students graduating, finishing engaged, successful academic careers at Manchester.
  • Graduates of ability and conviction, deeply rooted in the values and mission of Manchester, stepping out to improve the human condition.
  • Colleagues who have served well the University, and especially our students, for many years and across generations.
  • Completion of a semester that has seen us working, teaching, learning and connecting with each other in new ways.

The weather forecast suggests that Saturday will be 72 degrees with a low chance of rain. Oh, that we could be together!

Monday All-Colleague Meeting

On Monday at 1 p.m., we will hold an All-Colleague Meeting via Zoom to talk about our vision for Manchester. This was the agenda for the meetings we had scheduled on both campus on March 10.

We will share a video with stories and commentary from graduates, colleagues and students about our mission and our future. This pandemic underscores the need for us to strengthen our capacity to prepare graduates of ability and conviction who improve the human condition. I encourage you to join us and listen for your place at Manchester, the place where you contribute and where you make a difference.


If you have not seen this A Cappella Choir rendition of “We Shall Overcome,” I invite you to take a few minutes to watch the video. If you’ve already seen it, you’ll probably want to watch it again. These students each created a video of themselves singing, and MU’s videographer Nate Corder combined them into one. Professor Debra Lynn arranged this inspiring music. Thank you to all of them for lifting our spirits.

We’ve said to our students, over and over, “We miss you!” The same is true for those we work with: “We miss you!”

Be well and be safe.


Dave McFadden
Manchester University