Dear Drew community,
This in-person semester is made possible by the continued resilience, flexibility, and planning of our students, faculty, and staff. You have proven that by caring for one another’s health and safety, we can all enjoy the benefits of living, learning, and working on campus and in person.
As was recently communicated in a message from our Open Campus Task Force, we will have surveillance and symptomatic testing, mask wearing requirements, and dining options that mirror the fall 2021 protocols that helped us navigate COVID-19 in a fully in-person campus environment. In December 2021, we announced the additional measure of requiring all students, faculty, and staff to receive their COVID-19 vaccine boosters as soon as possible, and no later than March 31, 2022. We will have a booster clinic on campus this Friday, January 21, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Crawford Hall. You can confirm an appointment time here.
With these guidelines and mandates in place, strong results from our arrival testing protocols, and knowing our Health Service was recently accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Care, Inc.—achieved by only three other higher education institutions in the state—I am hopeful we can have another successful in-person semester this spring. As shared in Drew This Week, we strongly encourage all members of the on-campus community to use disposable/surgical masks or N95s. There is evidence that cloth masks may not work as well against the Omicron variant. Proper masks wearing on campus will be enforced and you may be asked to leave campus buildings or events if you are not wearing a mask properly. Disposable/surgical masks can be found at various locations throughout campus.
Last semester was filled with a sharing of experiences, innovative class projects, and immersive learning opportunities. We once again earned recognition as one of the country’s top colleges; the nation’s fourth-best baccalaureate school in international student enrollment; and a top notch school to study political science. We unveiled a new mid-semester enrollment program, Fall Forward, to help students transition to college; added majors in cybersecurity and statistics, and a dual-degree partnership with NYU; announced six additional Dual-Degrees with the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies (data analytics, finance, and medical humanities, health, and society) and Drew Theological School (religion, theology and ministry, and a Master of Divinity); and joined a renowned program benefiting finance grad students.
This semester, I am excited to have two outstanding staff members—both parents of Drew students—take on key student-facing roles at Drew. As was communicated to faculty and staff in December, Stacy Fischer has assumed the role of executive director of Launch. Additionally, Laura Arthur was selected to serve as executive director of INTO Drew University following a brief stint as interim executive director after Sharon Sundue took on a greater role with INTO in October. I feel fortunate to have Stacy and Laura leading these two critical operations that help strengthen the Drew experience.
I will close with a brief but important reiteration that we must remain vigilant in our continued battle with COVID-19. I have great trust in the Drew community to once again do our part, individually and collectively, to have another outstanding semester.
I wish everyone a terrific spring 2022.
Thomas J. Schwarz