This has been the most unusual academic year! Who would have thought that we would be “locked down” from March 16 to the end of the semester?
In spite of the difficulties, our faculty pivoted quickly and began to teach online. Students adapted to a new educational reality. Staff members worked remotely and were able to accomplish their tasks. Like you, we carried on in new and uncharted ways.
Undoubtedly, your world changed as much as ours did. We all accomplished things that we never had before, and that we never imagined we would ever do.
Because of the necessity to meet in virtual spaces, major modifications were quickly put in place. Let me mention just a few:
- Margot Perez-Greene, and her outstanding team of enrollment personnel, quickly adapted to an online format for the popular program for prospective students, called Inside Perkins. The change allowed even more prospective students to join the gatherings.
- Assistant Dean Tracy Anne Allred organized a series of chat sessions with graduating students. The Class of 2020 has been deprived of normal graduation activities, and those sessions allowed our graduates an opportunity to share their frustrations and triumphs during this unique time.
- Perkins organized an online senior worship service for graduates and families. Another session was arranged for announcing the special awards, which are normally presented during graduation.
- Currently, commencement activities for Perkins and the University are scheduled for the weekend of August 14 and 15.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a severe financial strain on Perkins School of Theology. Most of the extra expenses revolve around helping students in more ways than we might in normal times. We have students, and spouses of students, who have been laid off from their jobs. Some of those jobs will disappear permanently. Our student emergency fund is stretched to the limit. Current scholarship funds available for next year won’t cover all of the needs of our students.
Our fiscal year has just begun. I am asking all of our alumni and friends to help us begin the year with a strong start. Please be involved with this effort.
Donations for the SMU Fund for Perkins and the Student Scholarship Fund can be made on the Perkins giving page at giving.smu.edu/schools-areas/perkins Those two funds are the top designations in the drop-down menu. It is those funds that we need to fill.
If donating by check, it should be made payable to “SMU” with the fund designation on the notation line. Our mailing address is:
John A. Martin
P.O. Box 750133
Dallas, TX 75275-0133
Please join in helping students during this extraordinary time of need. Future leaders, who are being trained at Perkins, need your help.
Thank you in advance.
John A. Martin
Director of Development