Together, Apart

The calling of the moment: Building community from a distance

Together, Apart
And man and child walk through a market with bare shelves, emptied by people racing for supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. / Image courtesy Getty

Through world wars, depressions, and droughts, Santa Clara University has marched on, educating young people with curious minds and instilling deep values.

On March 10, 2020, those efforts became remote and classrooms emptied out in an effort to reduce the spread of pandemic—a novel coronavirus. But learning continues. Online, through video conferences, a real community morphed into a virtual one.

To protect each other, we had to be apart—a temporary change with an unknown end date.

“But, one thing is certain: We are in this together. And in this we find our strength,” says President Kevin O’Brien, S.J., in a video he made and sent directly to current students. “We talk a lot about Santa Clara as a family. In times like these, that family is not just rhetoric.”

While all of this feels unprecedented—store shelves bare and hospitals stretched thin—it’s important to remember we’ve been here before. About 100 years ago, in October 1918, much of Santa Clara Valley was quarantined to fend off the Spanish flu. Now more than 6.7 million people in six Bay Area counties are staying home to reduce the spread of a different virus.

We can do this. We can see each other through to the other side. “Because that’s what Broncos do,” O’Brien says. “They stay together.”

To support students in need during this time visit the special assistance fund.