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Welcome to the 2021-2022 Academic Year!

This year, as you move into residence halls, take and teach new classes, and gather with friends, peers, and colleagues, there is much to be grateful for.

I, personally, am grateful for the students who have taken the important step of getting vaccinated to protect themselves and the community as a whole, and to the many faculty and staff who have also made this commitment.

We know it has been a long, challenging 18 months since the start of the pandemic.

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the difficulties and loss many of you have experienced over the past year and a half, whether it is due to the loss of a loved one or to the economic hardships made worse by the pandemic. Your Purchase family is here to help. Employees, please reach out to your Employee Assistance Program coordinator for resources. Students, please reach out to the Counseling Center for additional support. No one needs to face this alone as we are all in this together.

If you haven’t yet received your vaccine or were waiting for the FDA approval, I urge you to do so as soon as possible and submit your information to Health Services (for students) and Human Resources (for employees).

As a reminder to students, if you have not obtained at least one COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday, August 26, 2021, you must schedule your first vaccine no later than Friday, September 3, 2021 and have both vaccines no later than Monday, September 27. However, for those who opt to receive the Moderna vaccine, the first shot must be received no later than Monday, August 30. Employees are also highly encouraged to get their vaccines as soon as possible.

We’re excited and relieved that the vaccine has allowed us to move forward, but we do so with caution in light of the Delta variant. Therefore, I must ask for patience as we continue to maintain some of the health and safety measures in place such as masking, randomized surveillance testing, daily screening, and limiting attendance and visitors for the time being. For the most up to date information, please read your emails and visit our COVID Updates page on our website.

Please know that we will be reevaluating all public health policies and protocols in the coming weeks and throughout the semester with the goal of allowing for more socialization, engagement, and normalcy as soon as feasible, assuming we are in a good place in terms of our infection rate.

That part is in our hands. I’m confident that if we reach our vaccination goals and maintain our safety measures that we can have a robust experience this semester. As it becomes safer to gather together, I hope you will take the opportunity to get involved in clubs, events, and organizations and enjoy all our campus has to offer.

I wish you a healthy, safe, productive, and inspiring semester. I look forward to cheering you on whether it’s on the stage, playing fields, in the classroom, studios, science lab, or wherever your endeavors take you.

Thank you for being a vital part of our community. I’m proud of how you got here, what you have accomplished, and look forward to witnessing your journey this year.