A Message from President Davis-Blake and Provost Blancero
Dear Faculty and Staff,
As the second half of this semester has unfolded, we have been deeply moved by the many personal stories we have heard of students who are experiencing hardships as we have moved rapidly to our virtual campus. The world and Bentley have dramatically changed in the past four weeks, and many of our students continue to face very real, urgent and unanticipated expenses due to COVID-19. Knowing that these growing needs require further assistance, today we are sharing that we have each made the decision to donate 10% of our salary for the upcoming academic year to assist those students who lack critical resources necessary to navigate this crisis.
While our actions are focused on helping our students prepare for the future, the inspiration comes from our past. For both of us, our parents were early and permanent inspirations of kindness, compassion, resilience and respect.
My parents, Gordon and LaNay Davis, taught me about compassion with deeds, not words. I distinctly recall one morning as my mother was driving my sister and me to church, she said, “You may see some girls at church today who are wearing your old dresses. A lady never speaks of such matters; she is silently grateful that she has been blessed with the opportunity to help others.” My father also helped open my eyes to those in need. On Sunday evenings, we would often bring a bag of groceries or an unmarked box to a home I didn’t recognize. But the bag or box was not the sole purpose of our visit; it was always an opportunity to build a new friendship with an individual or family.
My parents, Felipe and Anita Blancero, passed on to me and my siblings their resilience, work ethic and the value of helping others less fortunate. My dad attended school in Ponce, Puerto Rico, until the fourth grade and my mom did not finish high school, but they made sure their daughter could pursue the academic journey of which she dreamed. I know from my lived experience how an education can transform one’s life. The idea that I can help even one student continue on their personal journey is a blessing.
If you have a moment, we hope you read this story to learn more about the impact these gifts to the Emergency Assistance Fund can have on our students who are in need. They are shining examples of resilience. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students and this university. Your continued compassion will help us to not only meet the challenge of this moment, but to thrive, despite the difficult circumstances.
Alison and Donna Maria