Think of a place—a house, a restaurant, a park; a gathering place—that has always been part of your life. How has this place shaped you—who have you met here, what milestones have you marked here? Now, think of how you have shaped this place. How have you made your mark?
For me, the place is Nebraska Wesleyan University. My grandparents and parents have supported NWU athletics and academics. My relationship to Nebraska Wesleyan has grown as I have become a student, an athlete, a part of Greek Life, an NWU parent, and now a staff member. How has NWU impacted you?
I love NWU because of the relationships I’ve made on campus. I know track coaches from my days as a runner, and my fond memories of close connections within my sorority have transformed friends into family. When I had the opportunity to join NWU’s staff, I was excited to come back to the community I loved.
In 2018, I coordinated the move of biology, psychology and chemistry departments from Olin to Acklie Hall, helping our science programs take a huge step forward. In the process, I built strong connections with colleagues. My background in science and safety, paired with my campus relationships, has helped me facilitate our campus-wide response to COVID-19.
Fear can drive us to turn inward, to avoid what’s new or uncertain. Thankfully, at Nebraska Wesleyan, everyone is a lifelong learner. Overwhelmingly, we have responded to this new challenge by learning together, supporting one another and working as a community. Right away, we understood that we needed a coordinated effort to handle the complexity of making the NWU experience possible for students this fall. In May, three task forces—student life, operations and academics—began working to answer the big question facing every university this year: how do we reimagine the college experience during a global pandemic?
Over the past seven months, I’ve seen the impact each member of our community can make. This summer, I helped faculty adapt and develop creative ways of teaching within our safety guidelines—including outdoor theatre and music performances. We invested in sound equipment for larger classrooms, technology to enhance virtual and in-person instruction and more.
Student Life staff spent the summer reimagining the NWU experience—from residence halls to student organization meetings, Greek Life and athletics. Our custodial staff has worked tirelessly to keep campus spotless and provide the cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and temperature check stations that allow each of us do our part to keep everyone safe. Three retired faculty and staff members have come back to support students in quarantine.
Our students are making their mark too. Ten pre-health students are administering campus COVID-19 tests for internship credit, gaining real-world experience while providing excellent care to students, faculty and staff. Every member of our community—including alumni, parents and friends—is contributing their time, talent, expertise, optimism and financial support to make the NWU experience possible this fall. Everyone, including you, has a role to play in shaping the future of NWU and keeping our community strong.
The Archway Fund supports every element of the NWU experience—student and faculty engagement, athletic competition, arts performances and so much more. Even as we focus on our extraordinary circumstances, your investment in the Archway Fund plays a vital role sustaining Nebraska Wesleyan this year and every year.
As you can imagine, the cost of safely operating our campus during a pandemic is significant. We continue to encounter new needs: sanitation and testing supplies, new instructional technology, financial aid for families whose economic status has been affected by COVID-19, and the list continues to grow.
Now is your opportunity to once again make your mark on NWU. Your support will help this place—this community—thrive today and emerge a stronger university tomorrow.
Jennifer Agee (’99)
Director of Environmental Health and Safety