This is a generation-defining moment. And like every such movement we will be defined not by the challenge itself but by what we do now.

By how we respond when the path ahead is unclear or even unknown.

To all our students, your ultimate success is the light guiding us through this storm. We are here for you, just as you are there for each other. We won’t waiver in our commitment to you. 

To our faculty and our staff, your dedication to our students has never been more apparent and never been more important than it is right now. The actions you take now will resonate with students for years to come and will be with them for a lifetime. Without you our mission is merely a statement. 

To our graduating seniors, you embody our hopes and our dreams, our pride. You carry the hopes and dreams of your families and your communities, and of the entire Rio Grande Valley. Your ability to earn your degree is not affected by this crisis. You are the future of Texas. We look forward to honoring you at some time in the future with a commencement.

To our doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers on the frontlines of this fight, we appreciate you, we thank you, truly, for your steadfast commitment and your selfless devotion to the entire Rio Grande Valley. We need you like we have never needed you before. And you have been there for us. Thank you.

To all Vaqueros, vaqueros everywhere, now is the time to unite around our common purpose, to serve each other like we’ve never served each other before. To transform and rally to meet this moment together.

Editor’s Note: The above commentary first appeared in a video President Bailey put out about the Coronavirus to students, faculty and staff.