Soon, Virginia Tech will launch a new academic semester.

Throughout the summer, based on commonwealth guidelines and careful monitoring of COVID infection rates, we are continuing the transition to a more normal level of in-person experiences and learning. Vaccinations are the key and, vaccine-based “herd immunity” will be a necessary part of full-capacity, in-person operations.

In June, we debuted an online vaccine dashboard to provide the most up-to-date statistics related to vaccine rates at our campus communities. Visit to view these numbers and to read the latest COVID-19 information for Virginia Tech.

In August, students will begin returning to Blacksburg, Roanoke, and the greater Washington, D.C. area, and for the first time in more than a year, our campuses will hum with activity. Together, we will kick off an exciting new semester and the beginning of the 18-month sesquicentennial celebrations that will offer Hokies renewed opportunities to reflect on the successes of the past 150 years even as we anticipate shaping the future.

I can’t wait to see our community fill the Drillfield and the rest of our beautiful campuses and shake Lane Stadium again as we jump to "Enter Sandman." Virginia Tech athletics is coming back strong after a challenging year, launching the $400 million Reach for Excellence campaign with a vision to be championship contenders in all sports.

In instructional buildings, our world-class faculty are gearing up for the return to in-person instruction. I’m certain that their efforts will inspire the leaders of the future to solve the problems of the 21st century addressing issues such as access to clean water and stormwater management in growing urban centers.

The year of the coronavirus pandemic was historic. It changed the way students learned and interacted, the way professors taught classes, the way employees worked, and the way our campus and community operated at locations around the state. In spite of these challenges, the Hokie Nation persevered.

Your hard work and dedication made it possible for us to fulfill our land-grant mission when the community, the commonwealth, and the nation needed us most. There is much to look forward to as we develop exciting new spaces for learning, research and engagement, including the new Innovation Campus, which recently announced the largest corporate commitment in the history of the university.

Take pride in what you’ve accomplished, take care of yourselves, and enjoy the remaining few weeks of summer.

Be committed. Be well. Thank you, Hokies!

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