Dear members of the Sarah Lawrence community,
Today, January 26, marks the first day of classes for the Spring Semester 2022. The undergraduates moved in on a (very cold) Sunday and Monday earlier this week, and the process went incredibly flowing thanks to the planning and hard work of staff in so many areas of the College. A special thank you to our Residential Life (including our amazing RA students), Health and Wellness, Operations and Campus Security team for their tireless work in welcoming our students back to campus. We are fortunate that our plan to start the spring semester a little later than usual means we are meeting again as the Omicron surge appears to be on a downward trend in our region. That said, we start this semester with extra caution and carefully defined protocols to help us achieve our common goal of a safe, enjoyable, and productive semester.
We’ve asked a lot of the Sarah Lawrence community lately – patience, flexibility and compassion – at a time when it’s easy to get frustrated and tired. Time and again I am reminded of our community’s willingness to call for what is needed, and I am continually comforted and encouraged by your resilience and determination.
Because of this, I approach yet another “abnormal” start to the semester with my normal excitement and impatient anticipation intact. And there is something to be excited about! I am pleased to share with you a piece of news that has just fallen today: Sarah Lawrence has received a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest programmatic grant in the history of the College. The three-year grant, which is part of the Mellon Foundation program Humanities for all time initiative, will help to deepen and broaden the work done by faculty and students of the Sarah Lawrence Interdisciplinary Collaboration on the Environment (SLICE) as they address critical issues of climate and environmental justice through the lens of science people to develop creative and collaborative pedagogies to deal with the climate crisis. The grant also supports our growing partnership with Bronx Community College, which will be a key collaborator over the next three years and with whom we recently established a transfer partnership.
New semesters often bring new beginnings for faculty and staff. Please join me in congratulating four faculty members who were reappointed last semester: Gillian Adler (Literature), Roy Ben Shai (Philosophy), Rattawut Lapcaroensap (writing) and Cecilia Phillips Toro (Biology). And welcome to Bridget Bohannon, who joined the College earlier this month as the new Director of the Health Promotion Program. Bridget comes to Sarah Lawrence with a resume that reflects a career spent working to improve health access and outcomes, and I look forward to her contributions to our new direction for health promotion at Sarah Lawrence. . There is much more I could share about the accomplishments of our faculty and staff, but for the sake of word count, I simply encourage you to visit sarahlawrence.edu often to see all the latest updates.
Finally, I want to share some great news from the Admissions Office. With all application deadlines now over, Sarah Lawrence has reached a new milestone: more than 5,000 students have applied for admission to the undergraduate class of 2026. This represents a 12% increase over applications from the year and builds on several record application rounds in recent years. . I look forward to learning more about these prospective students and seeing how the Class of 2026 is shaping up as our (now very busy!) admissions team reviews their impressive application materials.
I hope this snapshot of what’s happening at Sarah Lawrence as the spring semester begins fills you with the same excitement I have. It’s such a privilege to be able to share updates like this with you and start on a high note as we set out to do what we do best: provide an unparalleled education for our talented and creative students. If we know that there are certainly challenges to be met, we also know that we will face them together with confidence. Here’s to a great spring semester!
The Belonging Series resumes next week for the first of several events taking place this semester. I hope you’ll join us online next Wednesday, 2/2, at 6 p.m. ET for a screening of the groundbreaking film. Sankofa, which will be followed by a round table. Learn more about this and other upcoming events at slc.edu/belonging.
Last week, we announced that the debut will take place in person on campus on Friday, May 13. We will celebrate the undergraduate and graduate classes of 2022 in a joint ceremony on Westlands Lawn, following a rollover ceremony on Thursday, May 12, for our Masters candidates. The 2020 and 2021 promotions, whose return to school was interrupted by the pandemic, are also invited to participate. We look forward to welcoming families and guests to campus, but we will also begin live streaming for those who cannot be here. Visit slc.edu/beginning for more information.
Our student-athletes are getting back into action, with some teams having competed even during the winter break. Women’s swimming placed second at the Skyline Conference Championships last weekend, and head coach Daniel Drury was named Skyline Conference Coach of the Year. Earlier this month, men’s basketball head coach Chris Ehmer was listed among Silver Waves Media’s most influential NCAA Division III head coaches. Visit gogriffons.com to see more news, accolades and game schedules as our spring teams begin their seasons.
Spring semester information site
For the most up-to-date spring semester information, including policies and procedures related to COVID-19, bookmark the semester information site.