Mid-Semester Update for Fall 2021

This message was sent on Oct. 1, 2021.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we approach midterms and fall break, I wanted to reach out with a note of gratitude for your hard work during the first half of this semester and an appeal to continue adhering to the indoor mask mandate so that we can finish the semester strong.

Students, you have quickly adjusted to life back on campus and to learning in-person. I’ve heard from many of you how you like to spend as much time as you can studying and meeting up with friends outside as the weather continues to cool down. You are taking up your faculty on offers for office hours and starting study groups with classmates. You are building a strong on-campus academic community, and I find it inspiring to watch.

Faculty, you have returned to your classrooms, labs, and studios with such an incredible sense of excitement. You are filling your schedules with advising meetings, engaging students in research and producing publication projects, welcoming your first-years to Wake, embracing your sophomores, and creating dynamic learning opportunities for all. All this in addition to your work as scholars and to your work in governance as citizens of the College. Thank you for your leadership and continued action, all of which fosters a dynamic learning environment and knowledge production.

Staff, you have returned to your offices, reconnecting with your colleagues in and outside of your departments. You have navigated this shift back to campus after more than a year and a half of working remotely and managing all the many exigencies that entailed. You have kept the College running smoothly throughout this transition, and I appreciate all of your hard work.

As we approach the halfway point to the semester, I must insist on reminding everyone about our commitment to our campus community’s health and safety. Please continue to wear masks indoors. As I regularly walk the halls between classes, I see an overwhelming majority of students wearing masks as they exit classrooms, but there are also some masking slips happening in hallways and indoor lounge and study spaces. It is critical that we maintain our adherence to mask guidelines whenever we are inside any non-residence building, not just the classroom. This includes ZSR Library, Benson, the gym, and the Green Room in Reynolda Hall. As the first half of the semester has shown, our commitment to pro humanitate in this moment is shown by abiding by the masking policies indoors.

I hope everyone has a safe and restorative fall break next week and returns ready to finish this semester as strong as we started it.


Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College