Dear Martinsburg College Community,

2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year for most of us. The politics of the country are divisive and reflect the extreme rhetoric of our times. COVID-19 has placed the nation under siege. We are concerned for the health and welfare of our families and loved ones and many of us have been directly affected. Our lives have changed, tens of millions of people have lost their jobs, our mobility has been restricted, and our future appears uncertain. The senseless death of George Floyd and the horrific image of how he died has ignited simmering racial tensions and anger towards law-enforcement.

The college supports open, constructive examination of issues and proposed solutions. Our mission is to create opportunity through learning. Learning is not restricted to what happens in a classroom. Maybe, at least in our small community, we can find a way to affect change without hate, to have differing approaches and solutions while remaining respectful. Perhaps most importantly, we can recognize the significance of the events that surround us, make reasoned personal choices, and recognize that all crises end and often with positive change.

2020 happens to be the anniversary of the 40th year since our educational institution was founded. Our mission has always been to improve people’s lives through education. This is as relevant today as it was in 1980. I remain optimistic that the country can continue to evolve and solve its problems and that all of us have the opportunity to do the same.

Paul Viboch