Dear Marietta College Family,

Earlier this summer, I wrote to you about our community’s personal responsibility as we move forward through the COVID-19 pandemic, and, again, this is what I’m asking from each of you now.

In a few weeks, we will enthusiastically start welcoming students back to campus for the beginning of the fall semester. If you have been away from campus for a while, you will notice some updates to buildings and other locations that are designed to help us mitigate the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Please know, this is going to be a semester unlike anything any of us have experienced before. However, let me assure you that we have been working hard behind the scenes in anticipation of this semester, and we are committed to keeping everyone as safe as possible.

That is one of the reasons I am writing to you today. Our hope is that everyone will arrive on campus healthy and ready for classes to begin on August 17th. To increase those odds, we are asking that all students and employees refrain from traveling outside of their home area starting two weeks before you arrive on campus — and it is vitally important to avoid traveling to locations that have become “Hot spots” for COVID-19 outbreaks, including Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We are also asking that you limit your “quarantine circle” to immediate family and friends. If you live in an area currently experiencing an outbreak, it is especially important that you self-isolate for two weeks prior to returning to campus.

By reducing your chance for exposure to COVID-19 in these final weeks before classes begin, we also diminish the possibility of its introduction and spread on campus.

We realize this is an unusual request, but these are extraordinary times and your safety is our priority.

This is our chance to show the world that Pioneers rise to the challenge.

Bring Forth a Pioneer,

Bill Ruud