Dear students, faculty and staff,
We always look forward to this day each fall, when the ACU community gathers for the start of a new school year. Today marks our 115th, and I can say with great certainty that we have never anticipated one as much as this!
If you’ve been away for the spring and summer, welcome home and thank you for your amazing perseverance. If you are a new student, welcome to ACU and the start of an academic journey we hope will redefine your life in all the best ways.
Our faculty and staff have been nothing short of heroes since the pandemic altered our plans back in March. Thank you for all you did during the transition to online learning, and for the preparation of campus this fall for an entirely new living and learning experience.
This semester will be as challenging as it is memorable. We are all a bit like the pioneering people who founded ACU back in 1906 – trying and doing things for the first time in new ways. It will take all of us working together to stay in community and maintain our in-person instruction this fall. Some of our traditional events will become virtual in nature, and others will change as we adapt to higher expectations during these days of COVID-19. Eventually this virus will be defeated, and we’ll celebrate together!
You will see lots of signage and other reminders each day around campus of the necessity to “Do Your Part” to ensure we can remain in our residential environment. We have a new way to demonstrate the meaning of “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Please commit with me to follow all the health and safety protocols that are not just prescribed by the CDC but should be second nature to all of us by now. Among them, we must practice physical distancing, wear face masks and wash our hands frequently to keep our campus safe. I suggest we remind each other with a friendly “Mask up!” when needed.
The ACU spirit has been so evident throughout this COVID era, and I can’t thank you enough for rallying around one another as we reopen this week. We have grounds crews being trained to disinfect classrooms. We have administrators, including directors and vice presidents, who have posted signs and rolled up their sleeves to disinfect spaces. All of this is being done so our faculty can focus on our most important investment, our students, and their learning environment. This spirit of community will help ensure we continue to have in-person instruction.
So let’s get started. Pray for each other, encourage each other, and continue to demonstrate the spirit of innovation, teamwork and excellence that defines ACU to the world. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe in this exciting new school year.
Phil Schubert, Ed.D.