MAY 8: A message of thanks from Dr. McPhee

Dear University Community:

Twas the night before graduation and across Murphy Center

The chairs were lined up but no one could enter

We’d hoped and we’d prayed – kept our fingers crossed

That tomorrow’s graduation day wouldn’t be lost


Years of hard work, the dreams of family and friends

It seemed that this story would have a sad end

The virus was winning – that damn COVID-19!

It was going to ruin the day or so it would seem


But our students and faculty are a very special crew

They refused to surrender – they would find a way through

For the past several weeks, they’ve adapted and changed

To learning remotely - at first it was strange


With Zoom on the screen or a virtual lab

They quickly found out it wasn’t that bad

They all buckled down and went back to their class

The weeks went by – so quickly they passed


Now finals are over, all projects turned in

We’ve turned a sure loss into a win!

With everything done, there’s but one thing to do

Let’s honor our graduates and celebrate with you!


So, like our spring classes, we’re trying new ways

Like a virtual gradation for a celebration day!

While it’s obviously strange that no one’s around

The creativity of folks was quick to be found


There’s pomp and there’s circumstance – it’s formal you know

And the Provost in regalia will be leading the show

We’ll honor each one and confer their degree

From the Bachelor of Science to the PhD


The President will offer encouragement and praise

With the reminder to be proud Raiders for the rest of their days!

We’ll end with the rollcall of each of our grads

And sincere best wishes to proud mothers and dads!

When the alma mater plays that traditional song

To think of its meaning wouldn’t be wrong

We are a true family – faithful and true

MTSU is your home and we’ll be there for you!

Hopefully you enjoyed this brief ditty on our shared experiences over the past several weeks.  I truly believe it’s important to smile and maybe even laugh occasionally at times like this.  We are being challenged by this virus, but with a positive attitude and a commitment to our individual responsibilities, I’m confident we will emerge from this as a stronger and more responsive university.

On a more serious note, I want to again offer my sincerest thanks for the manner in which you have addressed this situation. I keep hearing stories from across our Blue Raider community about the many ways that you have contributed to the continued success of the University.  As we look to our future; the perseverance, concern and commitment you have demonstrated over the past two months will help reassure our future students and their parents of their decision to come to our university, and will continue to mark MTSU as an institution committed to their individual success.

Tomorrow morning, we will host our first (and hopefully last) virtual graduation.  I invite you to join us at 10 a.m. Central Time for the ceremony, which can be viewed here . While we will invite each of our Spring 2020 graduates to formally walk across the stage at a future ceremony, I believe it’s important to officially mark the culmination of our student’s years of hard work.  Also, for our faculty and staff, if you are in communications with your students, I would ask that you encourage them to join us tomorrow morning. 

Again, I am so honored to work with each of you and want to assure you that your efforts are greatly appreciated!

Sidney A. McPhee

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