Our Campus Community | Lehigh University

Dear members of the Lehigh Community,

The new semester only starts in three weeks, but one thing is abundantly clear: the Lehigh community is together again. As I walked around campus, took classes, and spoke to students, faculty, and staff, I heard from everyone how much they appreciated coming back to a residential campus with face-to-face learning.

When we were planning the return of home training, the extent of the challenge the Delta variant would pose was unknown. One of the tough lessons we’ve all learned from this pandemic is that there is no road map. I understand and share the frustration of having started the semester with high hopes for a return to normal, only to be faced with new restrictions in the past ten days.

It is encouraging that the number of campus cases is starting to decline, as shown by the message from the COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) last week. However, these temporary restrictions remain necessary if we are to protect our community while fulfilling our educational mandate.

I would like to commend the CRT for its unremitting efforts to guide Lehigh through this pandemic. They have been meeting regularly since the first days of the pandemic; their actions are scientifically sound and follow state and federal guidelines. Across the university, the health and safety of our community is a top priority. We strive to offer the most complete living and learning experience possible under these conditions and to do everything in our power to maintain personal learning in dormitories for the entire academic year.

In the midst of this latest challenge, there are many reasons for optimism. Our campus vaccination rate is high. Our health and safety protocols are robust. Our community members recognize the importance of masking and social distancing. Many of our staff and faculties are dedicated and volunteer to help with everything from filling telephone hotlines to moving students to isolation housing and delivering meals to them.

Thank you all for your patience as we overcome this challenge and for coming together as a community to take care of one another.

Joseph J. Helble ’82

president

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