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A Message from the Director Concerning the COVID-19 Response

dr jacobs is director of the graham center

Dear members of the Graham Center community:

I hope you are all well, and that you and your families remain healthy in the coming weeks.

Obviously the University of Florida and the Florida Board of Governors are taking unprecedented measures to deal with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary concern is the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff, as well as the broader community.

Most immediately, that means paying attention to the guidance you have all seen about COVID-19. Our obligations do not end there. Our students, especially those who may not be able to return home for whatever reason, are concerned not only about their own circumstances, but also about their families and even about the faculty and staff of the university that they call home. We must remain attuned to the mental health toll that these circumstances may take on our students, our staff, our faculty, and indeed our own Graham Center family. To that end, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at mjacobs@ufl.edu if you have any questions or concerns that I can address.

Although there is no pre-existing manual for how we manage this, we can be guided by certain principles. First and foremost, public health and safety must be our immediate concern. We also have a primary mission of educating our students. We at the Graham Center are committed to continuing to offer the best possible educational experience that we can for our students as we move toward remote delivery of our courses.

As we focus on these goals, we will be postponing or re-formatting our public programs and student events for the time being. We will keep these changes updated as they occur on our website.

These challenging times present a situation that draws on the very best that the Graham Center is intended to inspire and develop among our students and our community. We are asked to re-imagine in real time what civic engagement, public leadership and public service mean. I firmly believe that process will leave us stronger as a community when we emerge on the other side.

Best, and stay healthy,

Matt Jacobs
Director