College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu shared the following message with the campus community on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020:

Dear Campus Community,  

As we reflect on 2020, there is much to think about. Historians and cultural critics, I am sure, will be writing about this year for decades to come.  

The year 2020 has seen a lot of hurt. But, there has also been many moments of hope.   

As we close out 2020, my wish is for us to take all of that hurt and transform it into positive change in our own lives and in the lives of our families, circle of friends, businesses and, yes, even schools.   

As the president of one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how a diverse community can come together – both those inside the university and those outside, such as our partners across the state, from locally elected officials and state legislators to health professionals. 

At every turn, I have seen – like never before – incredible fortitude, optimism, problem-solving, creativity and adaptability. As a society, we have been pushed in new ways, and together, we have responded to those challenges.   

I do believe that next year will be better, not just because of vaccines, but because we all are looking at the world in a new way. 2020 was truly a year of change. And as we go into 2021, there’s so much possibility, because we have the shared, pent-up energy for action.  

Next year will be better for the simple reason that, together, we’re going to make it better. In the College of Charleston’s “Alma Mater,” there’s a line in the song that urges us to “strive to conquer and prevail.” That sentiment has certainly taken on renewed meaning this year and reminds us that triumph looks very different during a pandemic.  

And make no mistake about it, this has been a year of triumph – a triumph for the Class of 2020 in completing their degrees as well as countless victories, both big and small, for all of our students who continued to take steps forward on their academic journeys and our faculty and staff in adapting their teaching, research and daily work to keep our university operating. The College of Charleston did not stop because our people did not stop. And that resilience was seen across our campus, our city, our region, our state, our nation and the world.  

That is the greatest lesson of all from 2020: together, we can face adversity – in whatever form it takes – and, together, we can overcome it. 

Here’s wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season and a very happy new year!  



Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston