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A message from President Conston

Dear TCC Family,

On Sunday, we remembered the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Virginia
Beach. While I was not here during that tragic time, I mourned the loss of those 12 individuals
killed in a senseless act of violence.

Just last week, we witnessed another tragedy in our nation, the death of Mr. George Floyd in
Minneapolis. Like many of you, I am horrified by the circumstances surrounding his death. The
outrage of so many spilling into our streets, manifesting into both peaceful protests and violence,
speaks to the hurt, anger and confusion in our communities. Collectively, their voices seem as
one, crying out for solace, calmness and resolution.

Mr. Floyd’s death occurred in the midst of a pandemic, COVID-19, which has claimed the lives
of more than 377,000 worldwide, 104,000 nationwide, and approaching 1,400 in our own state.
Along with the staggering deaths totals, this relentless virus has devastated our social, economic,
political and educational systems. We are truly navigating unprecedented times and treading in
unchartered waters.

Coming to this community a mere five months ago, I was impressed by your willingness to move
this college forward with new leadership and a renewed focus on student success. In mid-March,
I again applauded your tenacity to transition to remote learning and teleworking in response to
COVID-19. I continue to be inspired by your dedication to tirelessly serving our institution and
students. Your resilience is undeniable.

As President of Tidewater Community College – our institution – I encourage each of you to
stand with one another during these difficult days. Know that I support you, and I urge you to
support each other. Reach out to your colleagues, your friends and mentors. We might be
physically distant, but we are together. Talk to one another, and just as important, listen to each
other. For those in need, support services are available to help.

My message to each of you is one of profound compassion, hope and expectation for brighter
days. Change is long overdue and frustratingly slow, but I am confident that circumstances will
improve. As an institution of higher education, we remain committed to dispelling bigotry and
modeling inclusivity.

I stand beside you in solidarity, with an unwavering resolve to foster a learning environment that
is safe, healthy and welcoming for all.