May 12, 2021 - A message to the Triton community from Chancellor Kristin Sobolik

Dear UMSL Tritons,

As your semester comes to a close this week, I wanted to reach out personally to express a few things that I hope you’ll take to heart and take with you wherever you’re off to next – whether that be a summer off, one of continued hard work or the next step in your journey after UMSL.

  1. Without exception, each of you have faced a year personally, professionally and academically unlike any other in history. And yet, you are still here, reading this message, taking final exams, finishing your projects, making plans for your future. That alone is a remarkable feat. Let it always remind you that you are resilient beyond measure. And be proud.
  2. Because you’ve made it this far, know there is nothing you cannot do, and nowhere you cannot go. You are powerful beyond measure, too. You have within you the capacity to create the future you want for yourself. You have already started.
  3. Even when such a thing as a global pandemic comes along and forces six feet of space – or more – between you and your friends, your loved ones and total strangers you haven’t met yet, you are still not alone. Apart is sometimes unfortunately necessary. Alone never is.
  4. Keep going. Reach forward for help, reach behind you to help others, but keep moving toward the future that you envision. Always.

To our graduating seniors specifically, especially those who may be disappointed by virtual celebrations and a senior year like no other, I hear you. I really do. But take heart. Know your accomplishments and your journey are so much bigger than any one tradition, stage or day. Because of this, do your very best not to let a commencement that looks different dampen your spirit or your joy. You did it. You beat odds and obstacles you had no way of knowing would even be in place. I am in awe of you. You should be too.

Finally, although we are not yet fully removed from the effects of the pandemic, our region is advancing each and every day as vaccines are now readily available, and our region continues to modify and lower restrictions based on CDC guidance. Nevertheless, I ask that you please continue to take precautions by masking, social distancing and taking every other necessary safeguard to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our community.

I thank you for choosing UMSL and for the tremendous resiliency each of you have shown throughout this extraordinary academic year. Now go out and choose what’s next. You’re clearly unstoppable.

With gratitude and respect,

Kristin Sobolik
University of Missouri–St. Louis