November 30, 2020

Dear William Paterson Students,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and found time to relax and enjoy a nice meal. Now that the Fall semester is behind us, it’s a good time to celebrate and reflect on all the good work that went into it before shifting our focus to the Spring semester. I am grateful to all our students, faculty, and staff for all your effort and mutual support. Thanks to you, we were able to do something that many colleges weren’t – host an uninterrupted on-campus experience for many of our students. 
I want to again thank those who serve on the Re-Opening Committee, under the direction of Co-chairs Dr. Jill Guzman and Director of Public Safety and University Police Charles Lowe: Susan Astarita, Rebecca Baird, Denise Robinson Lewis, Jonathan Lincoln, Eric Rosenberg, Jim Shelley, Stephen Sondey, and Marybeth Zeman. This group worked tirelessly over the summer to get us to a place where we could open safely on August 24, and then continued those efforts to keep us open and operating throughout the semester. Thank you all!  
As we look toward the remainder of the year and then the spring 2021 semester, I encourage those of you who have not yet registered for spring courses to do so as soon as you can. Remember that your advisors, along with financial aid, student development, and other staff are available to help you resolve any issues you may have. Given how things went over the fall semester, I am confident that the spring semester will be just as successful, perhaps more so, given the many recent promising vaccine developments. Build on your good work and stay on track toward your degree by registering for your spring courses.
This week’s WPWe are Proud – William Paterson climbed 43 spots since last year, from No. 119 to No. 76, on a national ranking of 1,449 four-year colleges and universities based on how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into good-paying jobs. The 2020 Social Mobility Index, released by CollegeNET, now ranks William Paterson in the top 5 percent of four-year colleges and universities nationwide. We are increasingly successful in educating our students and providing them with the means to build successful careers and lift up themselves, their families, and their communities. You should all be proud of your contribution to this collective effort.
Have a great week! 
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD