Kimathi Gordon-Somers was instrumental in planning and executing a fully virtual graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 as the new Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity. After joining Fordham Law School in February, he immediately began to tackle the possibility of a fully or partially remote semester.
Read Kimathi’s thoughts on his time with Fordham below:
“It has been an exciting yet challenging start to the Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity position in light of the global pandemic, but I have been impressed by the tenacity of the Fordham Community and how we have come together as a family to move us forward. During my first 4 months, despite the inability to come together in person, we successfully hosted a virtual graduation ceremony in May and were joined by over 2000 guests from across the globe to celebrate the Class of 2020. Thanks to support from Fordham alumni and faculty, I have spearheaded the granting of emergency funding for students impacted by Covid-19 through the FLAA Emergency Fund, and I am pleased to report that to date we have approved funding for over 80 applicants and hope to continue that amazing work. But there are significant challenges ahead. We have also come together over the death of George Floyd, which has caused us to look inward at how we as a community address issues of systemic racism in society and here at Fordham. The many conversations I have had with students, administrators and alumni have shifted my focus to work that I believe will enhance the Fordham Community in the future. I am committed to developing diversity and anti-racism initiatives that will foster a more inclusive community at the law school but more importantly, that will further enhance the rich and continued sense of community that our students expect despite the inability to come together in person. As I plan an engaging orientation for over 400 new students and with the start of the fall semester looming, I hope to work more closely with key stakeholders, especially with Fordham Law alumni, to help the new Fordham family members acclimate to the new normal. With our continued commitment and collaboration, I am confident that we will succeed in the goals we have set for ourselves.”