Dear Members of the Methodist University Community,
Welcome back for in-person learning that started today, and thank you for your patience and cooperation during the four-phase return of students to campus and the two weeks of remote learning!
I again want to thank our faculty for their ability to adapt quickly to changes in the virus trajectory and to offer high-quality teaching and authentic compassion for students, whether teaching remotely or in-person.
This is going to be a challenging semester for all of us, and it is more important now than ever before that we consistently follow all of the campus health and safety protocols: practice social distancing, wear your mask indoors and out except in your own residence hall room or office, wash your hands frequently, and avoid indoor gatherings except for classes.
As the COVID-19 vaccines become more widely distributed, the threat from this pandemic will gradually recede, but for now, Cumberland County is in the extremely high threat category. The chances of contracting COVID-19 in this area are higher now than they ever have been before and will remain high for some time. For this reason and the safety of participants and our community, our Department of Athletics announced today we are going to start our sports’ seasons with a no spectator policy.
But COVID-19 is not all there is to Methodist University. I am very excited that we were able to resume in-person learning today. It’s heartwarming to see students and faculty back on campus again. A vibrant MU campus is life-affirming and joyous. I very much look forward to seeing – on live-stream and hopefully in person at some point soon – intercollegiate sports taking place on our campus again this spring.
It’s wonderful to see students in the Library and in Berns Student Center again, and I am so happy to see students able to make use of our beautifully renovated Green & Gold Dining Hall, even if we still have to follow health protocols. And, it continues to hearten me and bring me great confidence that I have the privilege of working with the amazing and caring staff we have at MU.
It’s also encouraging to see spring arriving again. As I write this, sitting in the President’s House, the sun is shining, and I am watching a flock of yellow-rumped warblers flitting around the yard, a sure sign of changing seasons. After a dreary December and January, we now are starting to see hope for new beginnings all around us.
So again, welcome back. Please stay safe this semester, stay up to date with the latest guidelines on the Forward Together web site, and also enjoy the experience of being part of the MU community. We can have a successful semester if we remember that our progress all along has come from moving Forward Together.
Stanley T. Wearden, Ph.D.