April 10, 2020
I write to you as we continue to make good progress on our academic mission, but as we also enter a critical new phase in our work to safeguard the health of our community. There were times early on when this work felt like a sprint. But as we near the one-month mark of this new and different spring term at Tuck, a marathon may be the better metaphor.
As we adjust to this new pace and new routines, however, it is crucial not to lose sight of the seriousness of the situation. Like the rest of the world, we at Tuck remain in the midst of a global pandemic. And while there are signs nationally that mitigation efforts may be helping, more hard days lie ahead—including here in New Hampshire, which is forecast to reach its peak for COVID-19 hospital usage and deaths in the coming days. The threat of COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, so it is more important than ever that we remain vigilant in preventing the spread of this deadly disease.
Only recently have we begun to understand how contagious and insidious this virus is. For example, we now know that a significant portion of people who lack symptoms of the disease can still transmit it to others before showing symptoms. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing may be difficult to maintain.
Many of you have asked what more you can do to help. My answer is the same as that of our public health officials: To turn the tide of this pandemic, we must not let up on our collective efforts to mitigate the risk of infection. That means continuing to practice advocated behaviors as you have been doing so well thus far—such as careful hygiene, social distancing, and the avoidance of large groups of people.
This is a difficult time for us all. Yesterday’s news that Dartmouth is postponing Commencement exercises and Investiture ceremonies for the class of 2020 does not make it any easier. It does, however, underscore the ongoing risks that we as a community can help mitigate.
To our T’20s, please know that I share your disappointment that we will not be able to come together this spring for our traditional Investiture activities. As I shared with you yesterday, we have already begun reimagining how to mark this important occasion for you and your families in a way that, while different, will be special and distinctly Tuck.
To both classes, please know that your resilience and resolve are leaving your mark on our School in a remarkable way that we will never forget.
Thanks, and take good care this weekend.
Matthew J. Slaughter
Dean of the Tuck School of Business
Dartmouth has formed a high-level task force to plan for and manage possible disruptions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, monitor federal and state recommendations, implement guidance, and communicate with our community.