Re: A Personal Message from President LeBlanc

March 24, 2020

Dear SEAS Students,

I hope you all had a chance to read President LeBlanc's message from yesterday (read it here). I share in his great disappointment that GW has had to take such significant measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. But I also share in his admiration and appreciation for everyone who is working hard to keep people healthy and to enable GW to continue serving its students and pursuing its mission. Indeed, it is often during the most challenging times that we are at our best and that we see the best in others - even virtually.

Here are some of the things I have "seen" in our SEAS community over the past few days:

Faculty and students working diligently to achieve the best possible education for the rest of the semester despite the unexpected change in format.

Engineers and computer scientists proposing projects, gathering safety equipment and supplies, and otherwise contributing their time, talents, and resources in the fight against COVID-19.

Everyone supporting each other, from policy changes and course modifications to virtual gatherings and demonstrating exemplary patience, understanding, and flexibility. 

This is our SEAS community coming "together" despite being apart.

A special note to our graduating students who were planning to attend Commencement this May. No student wishes to have their last semester of college or graduate school curtailed and their graduation ceremonies cancelled; this is a significant loss and one which will take some time to grieve and process. I sincerely hope you and your loved ones will accept President LeBlanc's invitation to join us in May 2021, when our school will enthusiastically welcome your return and celebrate the opportunity to physically gather again as a SEAS community. In the meantime, we will work to recognize all of your wonderful achievements with a virtual commencement this May. Please continue sending your ideas to [email protected], and we'll be in touch with details.

Thank you again for being a part of our SEAS community and for your continued commitment to excellence. I am honored to be the Dean of a school that has proven itself to be so resourceful, adaptable, and compassionate during such challenging times.


Warm regards,



John Lach

Dean - School of Engineering and Applied Science

Professor - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

The George Washington University

(202) 994-6080

[email protected]