Fall 2020 Campus Welcome

Dear Saint Mary’s Community Members, 

Welcome to the 2020 fall term at Saint Mary’s College of California. We look forward to another extraordinary year. 

Move-In Day Was A Success:
Welcome to the undergraduate students who joined us on campus! Although move-in day was different this year in that students were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, I am happy to report that Move-in day was a success and no students tested positive. Students were excited to move into the residencies and begin classes. 

Classes Begin Today:
Today officially marks the first day of fall classes and we hope our SMC community feels our collective enthusiasm! 

New Resource Available for Students Residing Off-Campus:
We are delighted to let you know that beginning today, Monday, August 24, the Saint Mary’s College Rheem campus is open to serve students who are residing off-campus for Fall 2020. Off-campus students may access the Saint Mary’s College Rheem campus, which has been modified to include reservable individual study spaces, broadband WiFi, Cloud printing, and select student services. The Rheem building at 380 Moraga Road will be open Monday-Thursday 7:30am-5:30pm and Friday 7:30am-2:00pm. Saint Mary’s staff will be on-site during building hours to assist students. Parking is available, and the County Connection bus line (Route 6) is in service.

As we begin the new academic year, we must acknowledge that our global community is grappling with both the uncertainty of COVID-19 and our nation’s polarized political atmosphere as we approach the election. Our local community is also dealing with wildfires, poor air quality, and the prospect of power outages. 

Further, in this age of social unrest, the importance of racial justice, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of our minds. 

Our world and daily lives are in flux, but historically our SMC Gael Community has banded together during turbulent times. Saint Mary’s College has weathered many global challenges such as the 1918 Pandemic, two world wars, the Great Depression, and now COVID-19. The poet, Theodore Roethke wrote:

“In a dark time, the eye begins to see.” 

And, within the framework of these uncertain times, it can indeed feel like a dark time. Here then, is a question to consider: What could this darkness help us to see? 

I invite you to see this time as a transition -- an opportunity -- if you will, to reflect on who you want to become while at Saint Mary’s College.  

To Our Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional students:
Whether you are joining us online or for in-person instruction, you have valuable contributions to offer our SMC community. You may not know yet what or how you will contribute, but Saint Mary’s College will help you discover how you can impact the world. Today, more than ever, we need a new generation of well-educated citizens who embody Lasallian values and are prepared to contribute to society at the highest level. In our polarized country, a college like Saint Mary's is a community where people of different backgrounds can live and learn together. Attending college is one of the most pivotal moments in one’s life. I encourage you to explore different academic interests, take on new intellectual challenges, and participate in this remarkable institution’s 157-year-old Lasallian Catholic tradition of service for our society’s common good. 

The Good Around Us:
It heartens me to see the good in our Gael community. The faculty are well-prepared and eager to offer inspirational, thought-provoking classes. Our staff works tirelessly to make sure that the campus runs smoothly. Our alumni, donors, and board members are deeply involved and continue to create bridges of opportunity for our students and believe in our mission so strongly that they continue to support the College in myriad ways. Most importantly, our Christian Brothers continue to inspire us with their lives of faith, service, and zeal. 

As we look ahead to the new academic year, I see renewed promise and opportunities for making SMC a stronger and more united community. As this year unfolds, I wish you the very best. I look forward to working together to positively impact our community while remaining committed to our Lasallian values and principles of faith. 


James A. Donahue