Dear Marietta College Community,


We successfully completed the first week of the semester and it is because of each and every one of you. Thank you for wearing your masks, washing your hands, physically distancing when possible and self-evaluating your health every day.

Were we perfect? No, we were not!

Even though this is the new normal (for now), some people forgot to put on their mask while studying in the library, there were others who did not wash their hands before eating dinner, some small groups needed to space out a little more while gathered, and we still do not have 100% participation in the student or employee health assessment each day.

But as we get better, that’s OK. Sometimes I walk out of the house and forget my mask, but I turn back around and go back in to get one. If you forget, please go back and get your mask and put it on correctly.

If you are not wearing a mask or you are not wearing it properly, do not get upset if a student or College employee or anyone for that matter politely reminds you to rectify the situation. Making excuses or saying you will not comply are unacceptable answers.

On the flip side, when asking someone to pull up their mask or to spread out to ensure proper distancing, make sure you do it in a polite tone. Let’s be good to each other.

It is also important that all of us understand that there are situations where not wearing a mask is acceptable. Just the other day, I saw six students on the Fourth Street green space throwing a Frisbee. None of them were wearing masks, which was fine. They were physically distanced, outside, and engaging in an activity.

Also, the College Police are not always required to wear a mask. Because of the nature of work that they are being asked to do, there are times when wearing any type of face covering would be detrimental. But I have asked them to wear masks during the normal course of the day if they are walking around campus or riding around in a golf cart.

A few weeks before students returned to campus, Vice President for Student Life Richard Danford emailed everyone with our guidelines regarding the use of face coverings. In it he explained that students participating in physical activities are permitted to remove their masks.

Let me give you another example:

While walking through the Rickey Science Center, I noticed a student sitting in a common area studying while not wearing a mask. I kindly asked the student to put one on and he did. He thought it was OK, but it wasn’t. Because I was cordial and I asked, he gladly put his mask back on.

Now we have to step up our game even more. We can’t slip up and jeopardize our ability to offer in-person learning for the remainder of the semester. Everyone must continue to make a good-faith effort to keep everyone safe.

I am sure most of you have seen the video and stories from other campuses where students have gathered for large parties, and they have put their semester in jeopardy. I understand there is a temptation to get together, especially after being away from campus for so long.

But PLEASE now is the time to show restraint and make this the great semester we know it can be.

Here is to a safe and successful Week 2.

Bring Forth a Pioneer!

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management