Welcome back to Syracuse University and to our first day of the fall semester! I give thanks that we are again at the start of a new academic year. I know how hard so many people have worked to make this semester possible.
I thank each and every one of you who have enabled our return to campus.
For those of you who cannot be on campus with us for now, we welcome you virtually; we hope you will be enabled to stay engaged with our community, and we will work hard to be able to be with you in person soon.
This semester is unlike anything any of us has ever experienced. The global pandemic has been and will continue to be a great challenge. But it is a challenge I know we can take on together.
Our faculty, staff and students have reimagined every aspect of the Syracuse University experience. There are changes to how we teach, how we learn, how we use campus spaces and libraries, how we live, eat, interact and socialize. To our students, faculty and staff who have worked so hard to make this day possible—I thank you.
All that work will not alone be enough. To our students, our ability to stay on campus—your ability to remain in Syracuse—is up to each of you and how you act each day. If you choose not to social distance; if you choose not to wear a mask; if you choose to gather in large groups, then sooner than you imagine, we all will be sent home. That has happened at other schools, and it can quickly happen here. You have all seen the Stay Safe Pledge. We must live by that pledge if we want this semester to continue in person. We must look out for ourselves and for each other in protecting our Orange family and our community.
Let’s do it with grace. Grace means we respect each other. Grace means we value every individual and their contributions to the Orange family. Grace means we think about the impact of our actions and choices on others. And grace means we treat each other with kindness.
At Syracuse University, the Orange family has in the past risen to challenges and succeeded together. Let’s all show the world that the Orange can do that now and defeat this virus.
Welcome to the new academic year. And Go Orange!