A message to our Alumni community

These are challenging times. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of
COVID-19 on communities, and I do hope that wherever you and your family are, you are safe
in your homes.

Here at Ormond we’ve had to make significant changes to College life, and we are all adapting
to a new way of living. Many students understandably have chosen to return home for a
period of time, but for some 50 students, personal circumstances mean that Ormond really is
the safest place for them to be right now. We continue to offer these students a place to call
home, and it has been heartening to see how community members still on campus have
banded together, abiding by some very strict social distancing guidelines in the interests of
keeping each other safe and well.

It’s certainly an adjustment, but this is not the first time the College has lived through great
challenges. Through world wars, the Depression and the Spanish Flu, the College has cared for
students and provided a place for personal and intellectual growth. Ormond has and will
continue to be defined by the strength of its community; its resolve to carry on through
adversity and provide a home for students as they find their place in the world.

Ormond is unique in the way it brings people together. Whether it’s a meal in the hall with
friends, tutorials in the Academic Centre or a quiet afternoon on Picken Lawn, our community
is defined by its human interactions. While we are unable to undertake activities in the way
we normally would, we are finding new ways to ensure our students stay connected with the
community. Our learning and wellbeing programs have moved online, and we’re turning our
attention to how we can continue to cultivate a thriving, student-led Ormond experience,
albeit from afar for many.

And through all this, the Ormond spirit remains. While it is disappointing for our students to
have their Ormond experience disrupted, we have witnessed great resilience, enthusiasm for
the future, forging of friendships and memories in the new world, and an eagerness for the
day that campus goes back to normal, and they can return to their College home.

We also offer our deep gratitude to the many Ormondians who are tirelessly contributing to
the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, across all fields, disciplines and
geographies. Our thoughts and hopes are with you.

This is undoubtedly an extremely difficult time for our community, as is
it for everyone in Australia and around the world. I want to thank you for your continued
support. While we cannot share in alumni events at this time, please know that we are
thinking of you and our whole community of students, alumni and staff as this situation
continues to unfold.

This global crisis will present the greatest challenge in the College’s 140-year history. Many
members of our alumni community have already reached out with offers of assistance which
is greatly appreciated. With such disruption, it is not yet known what level or type of
support will be needed, but we will certainly be reaching out to our community to follow up
these generous offers of support in the near future.

Life at Ormond has changed significantly for now, but I know that the strength of our
community, and the spirit and values which bind us, mean we will get through this, together.

Lara McKay

Read Ormond College’s response to the novel coronavirus here

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