Dear Colleagues,

As we approach Easter and find some time to reflect, we can be grateful for our family and friends, near and far, and for our community at Imperial.  We extend our heartfelt sympathy to those who have lost family, friends, or colleagues to this tragic pandemic. We hope that you find comfort in support from others and please reach out to our counselling services at any time. 

We look forward to the day when this has passed and we can be together again in person. We hope that you will find some time to take a break this long weekend, to pursue your interests and spend time (remotely) with friends. 

We are particularly mindful of how difficult this abrupt change has been for our students.  We wrote to them earlier this week to assure them that their welfare and success is our highest priority.  Studying and taking assessments remotely is challenging and stressful and our students miss the interactions they have with their peers, their lecturers and the many staff members they usually see on campus.  We are very grateful for the support you have given to our students when they most need it, and we hope that those of you in contact with students will be able to keep in touch with them, sharing your experiences of working at a distance, your interest in their well-being and your support. 

We are also planning for the future.  It is important to let people know that Imperial is continuing its enduring mission.  We are all working, in our own ways, to further this mission and we need to let the world know this is so. We will be sending messages, in various ways, to current and future students, their families, our alumni, our colleagues and our friends, elaborating on this top-line position:

Imperial College London is vigorously pursuing its mission of excellence in education, research and innovation for the benefit of society even as it manages through the COVID-19 crisis.  We will be fully engaged in the Autumn term through our campuses and our remote and online offerings.  We look forward to welcoming returning and new students to our programmes.

While many of our colleagues are working hard on the front lines, most of us are remaining at home in order to contain the spread of the virus and it is possible that this situation will persist for several more weeks.  We have been heartened and inspired by the ways our community is staying connected through this difficult period.  We have logged over 300K Microsoft Teams meetings and we know that there are many other ways we are connecting.  If technology has been a barrier to keeping in touch with your friends, colleagues and co-workers, please let your colleagues and our ICT experts help you.  Also be proactive; some groups have met in “virtual pubs” and others have shared their appreciation of music or pictures of their pets.  Find the people you want to spend time with and stay in touch.

We hope that you have a well-earned restful Easter break and we will be in touch with more plans for the future next week.

Best wishes,

Alice and Ian

Professor Alice P. Gast, President

Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost