Start of the Fall Semester

President Fenves poses with a group of students

Dear Students,

Wednesday is the first day of class, and I wanted to write to let you know how excited I am for you to begin this next phase of your academic journeys. Some of you are new to Emory. Others are getting close to finishing your degrees or continuing to build on years of research and advanced graduate study. To each of you, I want to say that you belong here and that this is your campus. This is your time to leave your distinct mark on Emory.

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched all our lives during the past year and a half, and it continues to evolve as we begin this academic year. With a rise in cases across Georgia, we must remain adaptable and do all we can to keep ourselves and the Emory community healthy.

I want to thank you for getting the vaccine, testing for COVID-19, and continuing to wear masks indoors, even if you’re vaccinated. As I walked around campus over the weekend and met with you and your families for move-in, I saw so many of you staying committed to the public health practices that helped get us to this point. Vaccinating and masking up inside are still the most powerful tools we have in our fight against this virus, and I am grateful for the dedication you’ve shown.  

As we get this new semester underway with classes, research, and activities, I don’t want you to lose sight of something very important—this is your college experience. It is happening right now.

Like previous generations that faced historic challenges in their time, you are being called upon to live your lives and pursue your goals and dreams in new ways. Yes, there is a pandemic, but you are still Emory students as you explore, discover, learn, create, bond, and grow. And the adversity you are facing—everything that will make your Emory experience “different”—lets you prove and distinguish yourselves like no class that has ever come before you. 

This is a new beginning for you at Emory. I know what you’re capable of. I know how talented you are. And I can’t wait to see what you achieve.


Gregory L. Fenves

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