Friday, April 3

Dear Auburn Family,

Now ending our third week in a new reality, at least temporarily, it is inspiring to see how the campus community has risen to the task in true Auburn spirit.

We have experienced bumps in the road, and we are sure to have more. Yet, everyone has shown great flexibility, professionalism and energy. Thank you for showing the world what the Auburn Family is all about.

While I am writing to say thanks, I also wish to respond to the question many have asked: what can I do to help? We can all do our part, and there are many good options to support our university and community. Following are just a few for your consideration.

Check on someone
While we continue physical distancing to help stop the spread, we still believe in the human touch. Take a few moments each day to text or call a friend, coworker or neighbor. Increasing feelings of isolation, especially for those who are elderly or more susceptible to COVID-19, can produce stress and anxiety. Connecting with someone, just to simply ask how they are doing, can make a big difference as we continue with physical distancing.

Collaborate and support
The response of our campus community has been remarkable. Our students and faculty are embracing new approaches to teaching and learning while our staff are adjusting to a new form of work-life. One of the most extraordinary characteristics of the Auburn Family is our solidarity in times of need. I am confident we will emerge from these trying times even stronger.

Pitch in
There are many ways you can contribute during this time. Giving blood remains as safe as ever, according to the American Red Cross and other health officials. If you are healthy and feeling well, the coronavirus has not slowed the nation’s need for blood donations.

Our hospitals need masks. While the specially produced N95 masks are used for treating COVID-19 patients, every community’s health care workers and first responders need other types of masks, which are in short supply. In a few days, we will offer step-by-step instructions and materials for those who want to sew masks. Masks will be provided to medical professionals to use when appropriate or to distribute to at-risk patients. Materials will be available for faculty, staff and those students who remain in the city of Auburn. Stay tuned for more detailed information.

While many of us are home in an effort to stop the spread, there are many others whose work continues. Mail carriers, store clerks, delivery drivers, sanitation workers and many others continue to provide us with important services. If nothing else, I ask that you offer a word of thanks to these men and women.

It is now more important than ever for the Auburn Family to showcase the best of our institution by offering support to those who are in need, bestowing kindness and compassion to others and demonstrating the values and respect for which Auburn is so admirably known.

All the best,

Jay Gogue