Marking a challenging year, celebrating your successes

Dear Western students and families,

With just days remaining in a successful-yet-challenging academic year, it’s a great time for us to pause and reflect on what we have accomplished together. As we discussed in the most recent student town hall hosted by the Western Student Association, throughout this year, our campus community has demonstrated strength in the most extraordinary ways. We are a community that shares a spirit of tenacity, collaborative engagement and forward progress, even amid difficulty.

Throughout 2020-21, you also have stepped up and traversed new ways of learning in a variety of modalities, demonstrating and strengthening your commitment to academic achievement. Well done! We owe our thanks to the ongoing, deliberative efforts from faculty and staff to continue providing you with a safe and exceptional educational experience. Due to all of our combined efforts, we came through this academic year without having to pause our operations or alter our schedule.

As spring turns to summer, vaccines are rolling out across our nation and on our campus. We want to encourage everyone to help protect themselves and their friends and family by getting vaccinated and continuing to follow our three basic safety procedures: masking, social distancing and hand-washing. We are excited about an upcoming fall semester with significantly expanded in-person classes and activities, 
as I noted in a recent message.

Now it’s time to mark the culmination of our academic year by celebrating the Class of 2021’s commencement. To those who are graduating, your soon-to-be alma mater congratulates you. You persevered through challenges and demonstrated grit and flexibility that will serve you well in the future. Your families and friends were beside you, urging you on, and all of our faculty and staff contributed to helping you get to this exciting time.

I invite the entire Western community to join with you and your families during virtual commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 1. Access the ceremonies and commencement program at

We are incredibly proud of all that you have and will accomplish. I thank you for bringing your passion and talents to Western, and for leaving the University a better place. I wish you well with all your future endeavors.


Edward Montgomery