Stephens Cares: Getting Through the COVID-19 Crisis Together
A message from Rajah Maples-Wallace ’97, President of the Stephens College Alumnae Association Board
Dear Friends of Stephens,
Our community is strong. Seeing to the needs of our students is the first and highest priority throughout the coronavirus crisis.
On March 25, 2020, Stephens College announced that students would finish their semesters in interactive, virtual learning, a unique approach in higher education. Taking two days to prepare, faculty and students resumed their schedules on Missouri time, getting up early in California, and getting to sleep in a little in New York. Students will come back to campus in the fall, and we will hold the graduate and online commencement on Friday, Aug. 28 and undergraduate commencement on Saturday, Aug. 29.
This is a new normal, and we were prepared to meet these times as teachers and learners, as a campus, and as a community. In the midst of all of this, students shared their resilience and their challenges. A student shared having to drive 10 miles into town to either park outside the library or a local restaurant with WiFi so she could go to class at Stephens. We know some of our students not only lost their jobs but have parents who have lost theirs. In this uncertain time, they do not know if they will be able to pursue their Stephens goals and dreams.
With a true Stephens heart, you asked how you can help. Because we care. Because we help each other.
As our Stephens students move forward in new and often creative paths to learning, there are many needs and challenges they are facing, and there are many more yet to come. Some of our Stephens students face financial challenges that will last for many months. For our community able to financially help, we identified the following opportunities:
- The Student Support Fund is a necessities fund designed to meet current and unforeseen needs during this transition. From bolstering connectivity platforms, to moving students off campus, and safely traveling home, these funds help us address new challenges by offering real solutions.
- Scholarship Support will become an even greater need as the economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis present new challenges and financial burdens for many students and their families. Your scholarship support will help students realize their educational dreams and goals.
- The Student Success Center and student health services must now virtually support students’ learning and emotional needs. From tutoring and editing papers to counseling and wellness, we continue to meet these needs in support of our students and their goals.
Thank you for joining me to do what you can to keep our students on track to meet their goals and achieve their dreams. I realize some of our Stephens community members are struggling, and my heart goes out to you. Please focus on your priorities and know that the rest of us will do a little something more.
We also want to connect you with our Stephens family, so please help us reach you. Call (573) 876-7110 or email [email protected] to update your contact information.
Thank you for remaining close to Stephens College during this time. And for shining a light on our college across social media. You are helping the next generation find Stephens and identify it as the right place for pursuing their best selves.
I draw comfort knowing that Stephens women help each other. Stephens cares. We will get through this, together.
Rajah Maples ’97
President, Stephens College Alumnae Association Board
TV Journalist & News Manager, KHQA, Quincy, IL
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