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Welcome Home, Lions

To the Campus Community,

One of the byproducts of the pandemic is a profound appreciation for community. As I walked the campus this past week and witnessed the growing activity—residential students moving in, student athletes at practice, faculty and staff busily preparing for the semester—I was moved by the joys of being together again. Welcome Home, Lions. We are thrilled to have you here.

I extend a particular welcome to our “first-year” students, faculty, and staff joining us anew and our “sophomores” who missed their on-campus experience in 2020–21. Together we embark on a new academic year. Although the coming months are marked by a continuation of some virus-driven rules and practices, we embrace the potential of being together once again.

Let me offer a few Covid-related notes of orientation for your return to campus.

Campus Covid Protocols: The best starting point for Fall 2021 information is our official website, which includes links to other relevant sites as appropriate. On Friday, Rafia Siddiq, TCNJ’s contact tracing coordinator, sent a message via the CovidComply email account that detailed our fall public health protocols. Please take a moment to review it if you haven’t done so already.

Covid Vaccination Update: As of today, 97 percent of students have uploaded vaccination cards, while 3 percent have been granted exemptions. Among employees, who have until September 7 to provide proof of vaccination, that number is 85 percent. An additional 2 percent have received exemptions. Thank you, TCNJ, for your deeply appreciated commitment to public health and safety.

Campus Town Gift Cards: For those who uploaded their proof of vaccination by August 9, the college invites you to collect your $25 gift card that is good at any of the shops or restaurants in Campus Town. Please see the message from Scott Sferra, executive director of student accounts, for times and locations.

Every new school year is exciting. This one seems more so as we reconnect with one another and return to the fulfillments of living, working and learning together. Having an energized and reengaged community will be invaluable as we undertake the critical work that lies ahead, including furthering our commitment to an inclusive and equitable campus and developing a new strategic plan. Watch for separate updates on these efforts in the coming weeks. We look forward to your participation.

Onward, with joy and determination,

Digital copy of Kathryn A. Foster's signature.

Kathryn A. Foster