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Dr. Mo Dehghani, chancellor of Missouri S&T, sent the following message to students, faculty and staff on Jan. 19, the first day of classes for the Spring 2021 semester:
Dear Students, Distinguished Colleagues and Friends,
Welcome back! It is with great excitement that I welcome you on the first day of classes. We enter the Spring 2021 semester with the lessons we learned from the fall semester about living, working and learning at S&T during a global pandemic.
I’m pleased to announce that we finished our fall semester with no coronavirus transmission in the important areas of classrooms, laboratories and other research areas, the library, and residential halls,
I thank and commend everyone who led or participated in efforts to keep the campus safe. Our check-in for returning students went smoothly this weekend. While we may feel confident because of our past successes and hopeful because vaccines have been developed, we cannot let our guard down against this virus.
We must continue to follow the well-established guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Please also remember that as you see your friends and familiar faces, you cannot assume that close interactions are safe. Some of you and your classmates and colleagues might be carrying the virous without exhibiting any symptoms. The safest way to approach and defeat this virus is to assume that everyone we come into contact with might be a carrier without knowing it. Please get more details on S&T’s coronavirus website, coronavirus.mst.edu.
Missouri S&T has and will continue to adapt to necessary changes due to the pandemic. Sadly, we were not able to host our annual MLK Day of Service this year. But all of us can remember and honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in our daily lives and actions. In that light, I wanted to share a tradition that a friend has encouraged me to join. It is the tradition of reading Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” on each MLK day and circulating it among friends. I encourage you to read this letter and consider its relevance to our circumstances today.
As Dr. King said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” That is certainly an appropriate sentiment as, together, we continue in our common cause to defeat the virus.
I encourage you to find ways that you can help others while following COVID-19 safety precautions. Together, we will emerge a stronger university.