What a semester this has been for our Loyola community. When students and faculty returned to campus in person in January, we knew this would be a challenging time, but we were confident in our plan—and in the strengths of our community. Truly, the leadership, collaboration, and dedication of our faculty, staff, administrators, and students have brought us through the semester. I feel deep, deep gratitude for everyone who contributed to the success of these past months. I hope each of you is proud of what we have achieved together.
We have certainly learned many lessons that will guide Loyola in developing our COVID-19 operations plan for the Fall 2021 semester. We feel certain that we have navigated the most difficult days of the pandemic, and we look forward to the fall.
Vaccine Clinic on Evergreen
If you are in the Baltimore area—or are close enough to travel to the Evergreen campus—and need the COVID-19 vaccine, please join us for a free vaccine clinic on the Evergreen campus on Tuesday, May 25, (for the first dose) and Tuesday, June 15, (for the second dose) for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators. You can register through this registration site
Loyola is requiring all students attending classes in person this fall to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug. 1, 2021. Students must send proof of the vaccination to firstname.lastname@example.org
by emailing a photo, which must be a JPEG or JPG attachment, and include their student ID number in the body of the email. Exemptions, which can be requested through this waiver form
, will be granted only for medical and religious reasons and are due Aug. 1, 2021.
Fall 2021 Semester
Thanks to the available COVID-19 vaccines, we expect the Fall 2021 semester to include less testing, fewer restrictions, and far less need for quarantine and isolation for residential students. Instead, we expect to offer fully in-person classes, activities, and experiences.
We will offer remote instruction only through certain graduate programs and for undergraduate students who meet certain medical criteria. We will share more information as it becomes available.
We will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government officials closely. Certainly, masking and social distancing guidance for those who are vaccinated is changing rapidly to allow for greater interaction and fewer restrictions. We expect to be able to implement changes for our community—especially since students will be vaccinated—that will allow for fewer restrictions, while still having a plan in place for the COVID-19 cases that will occur.
Upcoming Campus Changes
The University leadership very much looks forward to welcoming students, faculty, staff, and administrators back for a more traditional—and even enriched—college experience in the fall.
Our new Fernandez Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning is scheduled to open in time for the Fall 2021 semester, offering enhanced space for students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
Every summer we address some smaller construction projects, and this summer those will include renovations to Starbucks to allow for improved service to our community.
Returning students and their families will continue to receive regular updates through the summer months as our Rapid Response Team and Policy Group continue to meet and plan. Those will likely come from me, Student Health Services, or Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., our provost and vice president for academic affairs, who will serve as interim president when I retire on June 30, 2021.
We will continue to share information on our COVID operations planning for the fall on our COVID website
Our seniors are counting down to Commencement this weekend, along with the rest of our Loyola community. Professionals across the University have been working diligently to guide our COVID operations this semester, and many of them are also integrally involved in creating a wonderful in-person Commencement experience for the Classes of 2020 and 2021.
I want to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have supported our students and their colleagues in mind, body, and spirit through the challenges the pandemic has carried so far.
We have so much to be proud of as a community, and a great deal to celebrate, particularly our students' achievements during this historic time.
God bless each of you and please know how much I value you as a member of our Loyola community.
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.