Spalding President Tori Murden McClure sent the following message to Spalding students, faculty and staff on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021.
Dear Spalding Community,
We can’t wait to kick off the fall semester on Monday.
It has been exciting to have our new first-year students on campus this week for Engage, and by this weekend, all of our new and returning residential students will be moved in. Then on Monday, for the first time in 18 months, the majority of our classes will once again be held in person.
Our faculty and staff who were working remotely throughout the pandemic are back in the office as well, and in-person services and office hours are available for academic and student services departments across campus.
It is a momentous time as the depth of conversations and the joy of events and activities that can only be achieved in face-to-face settings – and that are key to the university experience – are restored on a broad scale.
As we prepare to reunite fully next week, I ask everyone to commit to doing their part to maintain a safe and healthy campus. The cooperation and responsible behavior of all students, faculty and staff is critical to get through the surge caused by the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Please review our Healthy Together at Spalding webpages, including the information on procedures for if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Students, please make sure to review this message from Dean of Students Janelle Rae from Monday, Aug. 16.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
When you arrive on campus on Monday, please remember that a face covering is required for all individuals in all indoor settings, except for your own residence hall room or private office or whenever you are eating. I do not intend to mandate masks any longer than is necessary this year, but it is absolutely necessary right now with Delta cases on the rise.
In addition, I urge you, if you have not already, get vaccinated for COVID-19! The vaccines are safe, free and easily accessible, and the data couldn’t be clearer that they work.
From March 1 to Aug. 16, 2021, 86.8 percent of COVID-19 cases and 90.5 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Kentucky were among partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals, according to the Governor’s Office.
We are planning an on-campus vaccine clinic the week of Aug. 29, with more information to follow.
We also plan to implement mandatory on-campus testing for COVID-19 for unvaccinated employees and those students in high contact and congregate settings such as athletes and residents who have not been vaccinated.
I am excited that once again, a full slate of events and activities will be taking place on campus, with many planned around the start of the fall semester. These are fun, meaningful and safe, and please plan to attend as many as you can. Thank you to the dozens of folks who have worked hard to organize these special events.
* Mon.-Sat., Aug. 23-28: Welcome Week – A wide variety of mixers, meet-and-greets, games, informational sessions, and athletic events all across campus. Check out the full Welcome Week schedule here, and here is a Facebook event for the entire schedule.
* Mon., Aug. 23: WDJX Campus Crash, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Mother Catherine Square – Stop by as 99.7 WDJX broadcasts live from campus on the first day of classes. There will be tents set up with free Spalding T-shirts and masks, snacks and other prizes.
* Thurs., Aug. 26: Convocation, 10-11 a.m., Columbia Gym Auditorium and online – This traditional event welcomes our community to all of the excitement a new academic year brings and inspires us to live into our mission. Louisville Urban League President Sadiqa Reynolds will deliver our keynote, and I will distribute a mission coin to each new Spalding student. All new students are encouraged to attend in person. All others are encouraged to join virtually, with the link to do so in your Wednesday, Aug. 18 email from Dean Tomarra Adams.
* Sat., Aug. 28: Eagle Fest, 6-10 p.m., Trager Park – Our inaugural fall free concert is our biggest welcome-back event of the week. Joslyn and the Sweet Compression and DJ Alli will perform, and there will be food trucks, giveaways and vendors. The Student Involvement Fair, with information on campus clubs and activities, will be held on site. Arrive early for a free T-shirt. Families are welcome.
This is an exciting time for our campus, and we are set for another tremendous year at Spalding. Please mask up, get a vaccine and pledge to do what it takes to keep yourself and our campus community safe. I can’t wait for us to work and learn together and to have a lot fun along the way.
See you Monday!
Tori Murden McClure
Spalding University President