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May 13, 2020

Kathy's Point: Celebrating and Supporting Each Other

Kathy's Point: Celebrating and Supporting Each Other
Though Dean Kathy Farrell couldn’t hand out diplomas to College of Business graduates in person this May, she sent a special CoB May 2020 Graduation Celebration Kit to each student instead via email. The kit included downloads to invites, decorations and backgrounds, playlists, recipes, webinars, a video from her and a free May 2020 T-shirt so graduates could host their own online or drive-thru parties to celebrate.

As the spring semester ends, I find myself reflecting on how proud I am of the resilience of our students, faculty and staff during this unprecedented time. The uncertainty surrounding all of us did not diminish our commitment to the College of Business mission and goals. Even when the world went remote due to COVID-19, the Nebraska Business community stayed connected and supported each other. 

Remote work forced us to be more reliant on technology, and Zoom quickly became the go-to platform for meetings, courses and as a way to “see” each other. We held virtual advising, career coaching, tutoring and CliftonStrengths conversations and even Dean’s Office Hours. We also kept in touch through online coffees, lunches and socials. You can see some photos of faculty working remotely in the online edition of The Nebraska Ledger for the School of Accountancy and also read their stories about teaching, learning and research.

Our university’s tagline, In Our Grit Our Glory, became very real for each of us as we all had to dig deep to be a remote college, especially our May 2020 graduates. Having started this year knowing it would be their last, they then learned there would not be a May Commencement ceremony. These students were among the first to utilize our new building and made it a home for our community. They sharpened their skills in new programs, such as the law and business minor, the Clifton Builders program and new master's degrees, and this spring showed their grit as they pivoted to remote learning. We wanted them to be able to celebrate and to be celebrated.

The university planned a virtual Go Big Grad Celebration on May 9 and graduates were told they could return for an actual in-person Commencement in the future. However, the College of Business wanted them to be able to celebrate now as well, so we provided them with a CoB Graduation Celebration Kit (presented here in video form) for their own online or drive-thru graduation party. The kit included invites they could tailor, a video message from me, Husker Hired graphics for social media, fun props, a Nebraska Business Class of 2020 T-shirt and more.

As our latest alumni, we also invited the May 2020 graduates to three webinars presented by our CoB faculty and staff on improving their LinkedIn profile, the keys to remote work and leading teams, and the economy after COVID-19. All of you are also invited to register for these webinars at https://business.unl.edu/alumni.

We also said farewell at our last faculty meeting to six faculty who are retiring. They include Dr. Les Carlson, Nathan J. Gold Distinguished Professor of Marketing, who is featured as the Faculty Spotlight; Dr. Matt Cushing, professor of economics; Dr. Rick Edwards, professor of economics; Dr. Mary McGarvey, associate professor of economics; Dr. Bill Walstad, John T. and Mable M. Hay Professor of Economics; and Chuck Waterson, assistant professor of practice in management.

I thank our retiring faculty for their tireless and noteworthy teaching, research and service at the College of Business. All of us at the college wish them and our graduates the best in the future!

Also, to our Nebraska Business alumni and friends, we appreciate your support during this unprecedented time.

Wishing you all my best,

Dean Kathy Farrell