Welcome students, faculty and staff!
This fall, we have our sights set on a semester that will bring back the familiar rhythms of campus life that were disrupted by a global pandemic. We plan classes that are largely in-person, albeit with some that will remain hybrid or online. We envision buildings and offices filled with activity again. We are counting on fans being present to cheer on our athletes; the return of concerts, cultural events and student activities; and the traditional bustle between classes that has been quieted by COVID-19.
Still, the virus and its variants have taught us to expect the unexpected. So we will stay on our toes, prepared to tweak or even overhaul our plans as needed to ensure the safety of our campus communities.
But the last 18 months have proven that our University of Illinois family will lead the way through whatever challenges we are handed. We pioneered a testing protocol now used around the world and hosted seminal clinical trials for vaccines and therapeutics that have restored a semblance of normal and hope for an end to the crisis. We pulled together for an academic year that made us a model for the nation, maintaining on-campus learning with no serious student illnesses while many of our peers across the nation struggled.
I couldn’t be prouder of our students, faculty and staff for their creativity, resilience, selflessness and sacrifice, and for proving yet again that our system of three best-in-class universities is altogether extraordinary.
Whether you are returning this fall or joining us for the first time, I wish you a year of fulfillment that reaffirms the hopes and dreams that led you here.