We’re so glad that you’re back! The start of a new academic year is here, and all the anticipation and energy that comes with it. Even though our campus is a spectacular sight, this place is transformed when all of you step onto campus. And this semester, we can be thankful that we are all back together. I know that these trying times can prompt a range of emotions from excitement to apprehension. At the same time, we’re ready for a great year of in-person classes, a slate of exciting athletic seasons, and a wide range of life-changing experiences and opportunities. And, of course, we are eager for our highly celebrated and beloved Ole Miss traditions like the second-to-none tailgating in The Grove, the “Holy Grail” for college football fans.
Whether you are a first-year student exploring campus for the first time, a sophomore or junior settling into a groove, or a senior with a few classes left to tackle, I know the year ahead will be defined by discovery, friendship and fun as well as the caring and kindness that permeates our campus culture. As always, I urge all of you to make personal wellness a priority by maintaining a balanced lifestyle. If you find yourself overextended or overwhelmed and feel the need to talk to someone about your physical or mental health, visit the Wellness Center or reach out to a faculty member, academic advisor, or the staff in the University Counseling Center. And be sure to tap into the countless academic support resources that are here to help you stay on track in your degree program and excel in all of your academic endeavors.
While we’re eager to put the challenges of the past year behind us, we’re still navigating the impact of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. It is why we are starting the semester with a temporary mask mandate. I wish we didn’t have to do this, but we have a responsibility to respond to the pressing situation at hand. I encourage you to review the Campus Plan for this fall.
The good news is that each of us can do our part to promote a healthy community. I’ve said it before (many times!), and I will say it again: Get vaccinated! Vaccination is our most direct path out of this. You can get vaccinated on campus quickly and easily. Thank you to all those who have already done this for yourself, your loved ones and your community. Those who are not vaccinated should expect to remain subject to increased public health protocols even after we get past this current spike in cases.
College is an amazing time in which you will work hard and play hard. There is no time like the present to be yourself, focus on your studies, and get involved. I’m really looking forward to all the ways each of our students will succeed this year and contribute to the vibrancy of our campus atmosphere. As we press forward together, I want to thank you for doing what it takes to be caring, kind, and compassionate to one another. Together, let’s make this year the most tremendous year yet for our campus.
All my best,
Glenn F. Boyce