In a time of crisis, stories of hope and resilience

You can’t turn on the news without seeing experts from the UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation or UW Medicine leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic. But that’s no surprise. When smallpox ravaged the world in the 1950s, it was another UW grad, epidemiologist William Foege, ’61, who wiped that virus off the face of the Earth by implementing an innovative strategy he learned from his days as a forest firefighter. The in-your-face quote on the cover of our June 2020 issue gives you a peek at the man who went on to become director of the CDC and a public health hero.

Our state and our University have been at the forefront of this health crisis. Community members have generously donated unused masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment as well as millions of dollars to the UW Medicine Emergency Fund and the UW Student Emergency Fund.

When the University transitioned to remote learning, faculty quickly converted their courses to online and provided nearly 7,000 spring-quarter classes. Students, who had just days to adjust to a new learning reality, made it work. Read how Karam Dana, associate professor of Middle East and Islamic Studies at UW Bothell, and student Manisha Jha faced the upheaval.

Our state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order came just as acceptance letters for the class of 2024 went out. We honor and welcome them, and let’s also celebrate the heroes—the crews deep-cleaning UW facilities, our front-line medical personnel and the volunteer novel coronavirus survivors who are donating plasma to aid in the development of new therapies.

Producing this magazine was an experience unlike any other in my 40-year career. Our team has worked remotely since early March without the ability to conduct photo shoots or in-person interviews. But our job is to share stories of hope and resilience that are at the core of our UW community. We wouldn’t have it any other way.