The 2020–21 academic year was unusual, to say the least. As the new Dean of Dyson College, I am deeply impressed by the incredible people who work at Pace University, people who have stood united to keep us safe and healthy and to overcome the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has posed.

The collaborative efforts of faculty, students, staff, and administration demonstrated the heart and soul of Pace University. Everyone pulled together to take care of the needs of our community with care and compassion, supporting each other along the way. From the COVID-19 task force that met daily to the healthcare unit, to the professors and staff who bravely performed their jobs on campus, students’ needs were safely met. Everyone’s persistence, dedication, and commitment resulted in our community emerging stronger than before, which is truly inspiring.

Beyond this, the University also had to address the impact of the unusual level of violence that was plaguing our nation. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others were focal points of national and local discussions and activism, and prompted meaningful dialogue within the Dyson College community. As a result, faculty and staff throughout Dyson College have intensified their commitment to create atmospheres that support BIPOC students, faculty, and staff. In this issue, you will see Dyson’s nascent initiatives to combat racism. Pace’s new strategic plan, Pace Forward, emphasizes the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as an integral component of Pace’s success.

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to diminish, I have had the unusual experience of meeting many in the Dyson community in person for the very first time. After nearly one year of Zoom meetings, the people I have only seen in squares on a computer screen have come to life on the streets of downtown New York and the grounds of the Pleasantville campus. I look forward to many more opportunities to interact with students, faculty, alumni, and staff throughout the University this fall.

Thank you for your continued support of Dyson College’s students, programs, and faculty. With your support, along with that of our dedicated community of alumni, friends, staff, and faculty, our mission of providing a liberal arts education that launches our graduates into meaningful, rewarding careers and lives will surely flourish.

As the great South African cleric Desmond Tutu said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” We move forward with hope that the 2021–22 academic year will be a little less unusual for Dyson College and the entire Pace University community.

Tresmaine R. Grimes
Dean, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
and School of Education