Dear Marietta College Community,

Today is Labor Day and the start of Week 4 of in-person learning. Typically, this would be a day off for all of us, but this year is different, and we knew we would need to make some adjustments to ensure that all of us could be on campus this semester. I still believe that going to class today and working through Fall Break was the right decision.

Of course, this created some challenges for our students and faculty as this time off has many benefits. I am proud that each group has embraced the change and is making the best of it, and when we reach November 24th, our students and faculty will enjoy a nice extended Winter Break to get re-energized for the spring semester. 

Another group that has worked extremely hard — often behind the scenes — is our staff. Much of the work to get ready for this semester was completed by these dedicated employees over the summer, and as a way of saying thank you to them, I’m pleased that Cabinet has agreed to extend the staff winter break to cover two weeks — paid time off provided by the College — from December 19th through January 3rd. So, the final day the College will be open for business in 2020 is Friday, December 18th and we will re-open on Monday, January 4th.

If you work in an area in which your respective Vice President has determined the department will need some coverage during the break, you will receive equivalent days or hours off to be used at a later time that will be scheduled with your Supervisor and Vice President. We are also asking everyone to limit travel during the holidays as we will likely still be trying to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Last week, we had our second student test positive for COVID-19 and several other students are now quarantined as a precaution. We expected and planned for some positive tests throughout the semester. For the most part, everyone is doing what is needed to keep all of us safe and to mitigate the spread of the virus by wearing masks, frequently washing your hands, physically distancing and self-monitoring.

At times, you may feel like the day or week is dragging on or that you have too much work to complete. It’s OK. Take a few minutes to relax or go to bed early one night and get plenty of rest. Focus on what is essential each day and do not fret about the less important things. If you complete the vital tasks, trust me, you will be getting the job done. And remember, if these feelings become overwhelming, Marietta College offers counseling services through the Center for Health and Wellness. You can make an appointment by calling (740) 376-4477.

We have 12 more weeks until we complete the fall semester, and like all of you, I want to make sure we do it with in-person learning. I am even more encouraged when I speak with our students and tell me how happy they are to be back in class and with their friends. I am truly filled with pride and joy seeing the dedication that our students, faculty and staff have shown to make this semester a success.

Congratulations to everyone for making these first three weeks fun and energetic.

Bring Forth a Pioneer!

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management