Rodney Rogers

File. BGSU President Rodney Rogers speaks to members of the media. 

It has been 264 days since Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency as Ohio confronted the coronavirus. I often think about how far we have come, and what that means for Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green and Wood County.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, I still believe that during this season of thanks, we should reflect upon the year and consider the many things for which we are grateful. Thanksgiving also marked the start of our fully virtual learning to finish this semester. While colleges and universities have struggled with COVID-19 cases across the nation, BGSU has seen relative success.

This global pandemic has taught us so much, especially the importance of public health. When we made the decision to resume in-person learning this fall, it was not lost on me how this would impact our community, including our faculty and staff, small businesses on Main Street, and our health partners such as Wood County Hospital and the Wood County Health Department.

We are a true college town. The success of Bowling Green State University is the success of Bowling Green. The success of Bowling Green is the success of Bowling Green State University. That belief has never been truer than in the shadow of this global pandemic. We recognized from the onset that we are in this together.

We are proud to have partnered with Wood County Hospital to offer a PCR testing platform to provide highly accurate results and a quick turnaround. We are one of few in Ohio with this capacity.

At times, this global pandemic seemed overwhelming and impossible. With the enormity of these challenges, some wanted to pause and wait until this pandemic was over, or perhaps step away. However, the vast majority of our students, faculty, staff, parents, families, alumni, friends and community members wanted to find a way forward.

It’s our mayor who demonstrated undaunted leadership. It’s the local contact tracer and nurse who worked around the clock. It’s the small business owner who kept students employed or who was the first to rehire, even in the face of uncertainty. It’s the public works and campus operations employee who kept coming to work to carry out essential services. The list goes on.

While we must continue to focus on slowing the spread of COVID-19, this holiday reminds me that our university is so grateful for you – the citizens of Bowling Green.

Grateful for you,

Rodney K. Rogers

President, Bowling Green State University