President Book looks forward to “Normal Plus” operations

In a message to the community, Elon's president talks about the end of the semester and next academic year.

Elon University President Connie Ledoux Book provides this update as we enter the final weeks of the 2020-21 academic year:

Members of the Elon community:

As we enter the final weeks of the semester and academic year, I want to take a moment to provide a few community updates.

First – This semester’s weekly testing and our quarantine/isolation strategy have helped. We’ve been able to quickly identify emerging COVID clusters and mitigate a wide scale outbreak.

Because of testing and fewer infections, more students have been able to attend classes in person. And we’ve been able to safely gather together and enjoy the traditions we love at Elon – things like College Coffee and late night Bingo.

To the faculty and staff who have worked so hard to keep the Elon community whole and thriving – thank you. To the students who have adjusted their schedules, reimagined programs, performances, recruitment and even working out in campus rec – your leadership is making a difference in the health and well-being of the community. Thank you.

Second – Elon leaders worked together to establish the university as a vaccination site. Everyone in the state of North Carolina is now eligible to receive the vaccine and to date Elon has administered more than a thousand doses of all three vaccines and we still have availability. If you haven’t already had your shots, please get vaccinated as soon as you can and upload your vaccination card. Do your part in helping our world move forward to life beyond the pandemic.

Elon is well on the way to planning for those days and we have set June 1 as our goal for what I am describing as “Normal +” operations.

Normal plus, because we’ve learned so much in the last year and more with each day. We want to plus up our normal with this new awareness – our new knowledge.

In the normal plus environment, we will continue our nationally renowned, face-to-face classroom teaching model on our residential campus. And because of the work of our faculty and staff, we now have new classroom tools and practices to enhance learning and access.

In the normal plus environment, we will combine vaccinations with revised testing requirements. This strategy will allow us to be together in this learning environment and stay healthy.

In our normal plus environment – we can leave the worst of the pandemic behind and embrace the best of what we now know.

I am looking forward to normal plus at Elon.

To our seniors: we are looking forward to an on-campus graduation on May 21. Our protocols work and I know we can have a healthy and safe Commencement with your loved ones to celebrate all you have achieved while at Elon. I’m also looking forward to hearing commencement remarks by Daniel Watts, Class of 2004.

Elon – just a few more weeks and we will cross the finish line of what will be recorded as one of the most turbulent and challenging years in our history. There is no question we are able to be at this moment because of your dedication. When I look right and left across this finish line, I see you and I know the toll this has taken. We are tired from this journey.

As we enter the home stretch, fix your eyes to the horizon and then imagine what is beyond – a brighter future, our normal plus, where we have a deeper understanding of what we all mean to one another and how greatly we are blessed to be part of this inspiring community.

Thank you.