A year of joyful moments and new challenges ahead
Just a few weeks ago, I watched a new class of Vols take their Torch Night pledge in Neyland Stadium. This ceremony is one of my favorite moments of the year, and the pledge our students take is a moving commitment to step forward in moments big and small and to represent the University of Tennessee with honesty, compassion, and courage. It’s a pledge meant for our students, but it is a promise we all share as Volunteers.
These first few weeks of the semester have been full of both joyful moments and new challenges. Having our campus full again makes Rocky Top feel like home. But we know this pandemic is not over, and we are all dependent on one another to do our part to keep ourselves and one another safe. I want to thank everyone for wearing their masks while indoors. And if you have not received your vaccine, please consider doing so now. We continue to offer appointments to anyone who wants the vaccine at the Student Health Center.
While there will no doubt be obstacles ahead, we have a lot to celebrate and look forward to. This university is educating more students, conducting more high-level research, and connecting with more Tennesseans than at any time in our history. We have spent the past two years collaborating on a shared strategic vision that will help guide us into the future. It’s a vision that not only places value on our work and our academic success but also leans into the spirit of collaboration, compassion, and leadership that defines us as Volunteers and brings meaning to that work.
I will share more about this vision, what we have accomplished, and what we hope to accomplish during my third annual Flagship Address on September 21 in the Student Union Auditorium. I hope you will join me there.
Until then, thank you for all that you do to support our mission and one another.
Hello. The first few weeks of this semester have been so exciting.
It feels so good to be out and around on campus and see all these students back on campus, and they’re so excited to be here. They’re excited to be in class face-to-face.
But clearly, our beginning of the semester also has presented us with challenges as well.
We know that with the rising surge of the Delta variant it’s serious and it is straining our community’s health care system. So thank you for wearing your mask and continuing to be diligent about protecting yourself and others. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll get your vaccine.
The mask and the vaccines are the two best tools we have right now to fight this pandemic. We continue to offer appointments for the vaccine to anyone who needs one at the Student Health Center.
The vaccines are safe, they’re free, they are effective, and the FDA has already begun granting full approvals with the Pfizer vaccine.
As we head into this semester there will be obstacles ahead but there’s also so much to look forward to.
The University of Tennessee is educating more students from more different places in the country and in the state of Tennessee than ever before, and we’re conducting more high-impact research that’s making life and lives better in Tennessee.
We’ve been working on a shared vision for our future, one that celebrates who we are and the values we hold as Volunteers.
I will share more about this vision and where we are as a university in my third annual Flagship Address on September 21st. I hope you will join me. Go Vols!