Welcome to spring quarter
Dear members of our Stanford community,
Welcome to spring quarter – and, for those students who have recently returned, welcome back to campus!
In recent weeks, there has been much good news about the acceleration of the vaccine rollout and falling infection rates in the Bay Area and around the country. I’m delighted that the positive trajectory of the pandemic has made it possible to bring our junior and senior classes back to campus this quarter. I’m especially pleased that our seniors have the opportunity to spend their last Stanford quarter on our campus.
Of course, our campus won’t be “back to normal” for some time yet. COVID-19 still poses a threat in our region. It’s critical that everyone on campus continue to follow the health and safety guidelines – including physical distancing, masking and testing – that have helped to keep our community safe to this point. Information about all of the university’s current policies can be found on Health Alerts.
As more members of our community return to campus, I encourage you to adhere to these guidelines in a spirit of collective responsibility and care for one another. I am hopeful, as I know we all are, that we can continue to loosen restrictions and work toward a fall quarter that is as “normal” as possible. But while closing the campus took only a few days last spring, reopening safely will take time and effort. Our progress toward that goal will require all of us to put the health and safety of our community first.
Even as we further strengthen our core teaching and research activities coming out of the pandemic, this spirit of collective responsibility also informs how we are thinking more broadly about Stanford’s impact in the years ahead. The pandemic has made it clear how interconnected our world is. Our great challenges are global, and as we emerge from this crisis, we’re looking to the future with renewed focus on how we can partner with others to address the pressing problems of our time – from health disparities to climate change to educational access. We’re also enhancing our ties with our local and regional communities, as well as our efforts to advance the critical cause of diversity, equity and inclusion in our institution and in our society.
Wherever you are as this spring quarter begins, I’m grateful for your commitment to supporting our university and one another. In this season of growth and new beginnings, I hope you are invigorated by reengaging with your work at Stanford.