Welcome to the spring 2021 semester!
Welcome to a new spring semester!
As new academic classes, internships and experiences begin, I wanted to take a moment to share a new video message with you. I am especially happy to share a positive update on my cancer diagnosis. Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement these many months. Your support truly means the world to me!
Although we start fresh with a new semester today, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to linger on. After 10 months, it’s not surprising that many of us are feeling “pandemic fatigue.” And yet, the need to stay vigilant in our efforts to stop the spread is still urgent.
A new strain, which appears to be even more highly transmissible among younger populations, is projected to be the most dominant strain in the U.S., by March. As reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education last week, the new strain, and pandemic fatigue, are combining to cause surges at several colleges that were successful in keeping numbers low last fall.
While we have instituted re-entry testing and regular surveillance testing for students, these protocols are not a panacea. False negative test results, an occasional outcome of asymptomatic testing, means that viral spread may not always be caught. And so, we need your help to realize our shared goal – to stay together, stay safe and stay employed this spring. Help stop the spread by following our Community Care Compact, properly wearing a mask, and encouraging others to do the same. Stay socially distant, wash and sanitize frequently.
New testing protocols are allowing our sports teams and other student groups to compete and perform. While the women’s team began their shortened season with two wins last week, the men’s team stayed home – their season opener called off – because of COVID-19 cases on the men’s basketball team at Eastern University, not at Albright. We celebrate that we can support the activities of some student groups.
We did a great job last semester in keeping our community safe. Despite pandemic fatigue, let’s continue to stand together, prioritizing the safety and care of yourself and others. I am wishing each of you a wonderful, successful and healthy spring semester!
Welcome back, fellow Albrightians!
Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., ’82
President and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry