Dear students, faculty, and staff,
As classes begin today, I extend my best wishes for a successful spring semester. Thanks to you, Drew is back in session, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Some of us are on campus, while some remain remote. It’s still a challenging time, but each day shows new progress, and I am pleased with how members of the Drew community are working together to be a part of that progress.
The faculty and staff have been working diligently to prepare for this unique semester, and I thank them for all of their hard work and resilience. I also thank the students for their cooperation and best efforts as we learn together as never before. I know we will experience challenges this semester; please remember that everyone is doing their best, and be patient with and kind to one another.
Just two days ago, we honored the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day focused on how we can serve others. And today, on Inauguration Day, I urge us to continue in that mindset and remember that we are all called by Drew’s mission to add to the world’s good. We can do that by educating ourselves before speaking, debating differing ideas with respect, and building people up, not tearing them down. There is no better place to hone these practices than at an institution of higher learning.
Lastly, please continue to keep health and safety in the forefront of your minds: stay physically distant, wear a mask, avoid crowds, wash your hands, and—if you are on campus—complete your health and safety training as well as your daily health questionnaire on the LiveSafe app. Visit drew.edu/covid19 to see the COVID-19 dashboard and for information on testing, contact tracing, campus access (including study spaces, which you can freely access), and more.
We all must remain vigilant about the safety of our community in The Forest and our community beyond campus. For more than nine months, we’ve been dealing with this pandemic. We are now accustomed to meeting challenges in new ways and with a flexible attitude, and we must continue to do so. With everyone’s best efforts we will complete the semester uninterrupted.
Have a great first week!
Thomas J. Schwarz