Afterwords: Hope for what lies ahead

Afterwords: Hope for what lies ahead

Afterwords: Hope for what lies ahead

For only the second time since Rowan Magazine began, this page, reserved for alumni essays, yields to speak to the pressing—sometimes crushing—moment we live in.

Twenty years ago, we paused here to honor the lives lost in the September 11 attacks.

Now, between what we’ve lived through and what lies ahead, we acknowledge the toll of COVID-19: as of press time, more than 4.5 million lives lost worldwide, more than 700,000 in the United States. Our University community grieves for family, neighbors, colleagues and the countless we will never know. They all left behind lives and loved ones just like us.

The virus still grips millions and continues to wring out of nearly everyone on Earth any sense of normalcy. And yet, many recover. Many survive. New life arrives with joy and boundless potential.

So, we dream, we strive, we try and try again to make a difference.

It may have been decades since our last first day of school. But for many, summer’s end and the new school year both signal the start or restart of many things that promise growth and progress, another chance to achieve, explore, contribute.

With Nancy Ohanian’s “Breakfast” speaking visually for us, we offer a last comment in this issue on the precious blessing of each new day and new season ahead. Let’s cherish the memory of those precious to us and live to honor them.

No matter the uncertainty, chaos or crisis around us, may we all find—and bring to others—hope, purpose and the opportunity to begin again. 

—Ed. Afterword: Hope for what lies ahead