Better Days Are On The Horizon

This week, the first round of COVID-19 vaccines began shipping throughout the country.

Though widespread vaccination will take several months, this is a moment of great hope and celebration. 

We are so thankful not only for the healthcare workers who remain on the front-lines, battling this illness, but also for the scientists who have developed an effective and innovative vaccine in record time.

Their success is a testament to the importance of education and research — and to the power of science and discovery to cross international, political and social divides.

As we head into the winter holidays here at Pacific, we are also firmly focused on what the coming months will bring.

We strongly encourage everyone to continue following public health guidance through the holidays: limit your contacts, wear masks, maintain physical distancing, and practice good hygiene.

Students will return on staggered schedules for various programs throughout January. Watch for program-specific information on return-to-campus protocols, which will include a combination of self-monitoring, proactive quarantine, and testing.

The Forest Grove undergraduate winter term in January will be delivered largely online, and students have the option of continuing their spring classes online — though more courses will be offered in person this spring as well. Residence halls reopen at noon Jan. 3.

Recognizing the importance of giving students and faculty a break, most programs will maintain spring break as originally planned (March 22-26 for most). However, guidelines around travel or quarantine will depend on public health restrictions at that time.

Finally, we know that everyone is curious about plans for Commencement and end-of-the-term celebrations. Though these are unlikely to return to “normal” large-scale events, we are anxious to be able to mark these occasions in person again. We will continue to look for creative and safe ways to do so, probably in smaller groups, following the best available public health guidance at the time.

This is not over yet — but we continue to deeply appreciate the adaptability and resilience of our Boxer community, and we are looking forward to better days ahead in 2021.

Friday, Dec. 18, 2020