A welcome back message from President Tim Sands
August 14, 2020
To the university community,
After months of preparation and a great deal of hard work and planning, the time we’ve all been anticipating is finally here – our Hokie community is coming back together. Being together will be different this year, and while some employees and students will continue to connect remotely this semester, our campus will be more active as we find creative ways to live, work, and play under current public health guidelines.
Students are moving into residence halls and apartments while more faculty and staff are moving back to campus from their remote locations to support the beginning of our fall semester. I’m proud of Hokie Nation for meeting every challenge COVID-19 has thrown at us. It hasn’t been easy, but thanks to you, we have the opportunity to move incrementally toward more normal operations.
You’ve worked hard and sacrificed to get this far and it’s more important than ever to preserve our progress by keeping our guard up, following the guidelines, and protecting the health and safety of our community. Everything you need to know is available on our Ready site, so please check it regularly for the latest information.
We are coming back together under a new Community Wellness Commitment, developed in collaboration with the New River Valley Public Health Task Force to reduce health risks in our region, especially for the most vulnerable. As Hokies, we’ve always taken great pride in our community service leadership, demonstrated through activities, such as The Big Event and Relay for Life. We now have a new opportunities to show that we care for our community, such as Virginia Tech’s work in ramping up testing capacity in our region and educating the nation and the world about the pandemic.
We all have a part to play, and I am asking each of you to fulfill your role by wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, washing your hands frequently, self-isolating if you have symptoms, and using good judgement regarding social activities. Our daily choices will directly affect the lives of our friends, families, and colleagues, and support a successful fall semester.
Over the summer, our community, like countless others, was also shaken by the murder of George Floyd. His death, along with the senseless killing of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on people of color have deeply affected our nation, the commonwealth, and our university. Black Lives Matter at Virginia Tech, and we are accelerating our aggressive commitment to become a more inclusive community. We will continue to be guided by our Principles of Community and InclusiveVT, our institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence.
And while the way we connect, learn, and live is changing, many important things remain the same. The Virginia Tech community is as strong as it has ever been, and we remain committed to our tripartite mission of education, research, and engagement that inspires us to take on the world’s greatest challenges. Our Beyond Boundaries vision was created to prepare us for unforeseen challenges and opportunities in higher education, and we’re ready to show the world what we can do.
Welcome back Hokies!
Those in the Virginia Tech community who need assistance or counseling support may contact:
- Cook Counseling Center at 540-231-6557.
- Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787. Referral to a campus cleric may be made through this office.
- Employee Assistance Program
- Anthem at 855-223-9277
- Aetna at 888-238-6232
- Kaiser Permanente at 866-517-7042
- Optima Health Vantage HMO at 866-846-2682
- Hokie Wellness at 540-231-2233 (students) or 540-231-8878 (employees)
- InclusiveVT at 540-231-7500
- Office of Housing and Residence Life at 540-231-6205
- Women’s Center at Virginia Tech at 540-231-7806