Dear Hokies,

I hope you know your arrival on campus has brought the burst of energy our entire community always looks forward to and — this year — needs now more than ever. You are remarkable. Whether you’re an entering first-year, transfer, senior, or graduate student, you are a living example of perseverance, grit, and tenacity. You’ve worked hard for this moment, and we want this year to be your best year yet at Virginia Tech.

While the challenge of COVID-19 continues to evolve and public health remains our number one priority, you have set us up beautifully for managing the impact of this virus. With 94 percent of students vaccinated and some modest public health measures put in place, the Virginia Tech experience will be full of friendship, lifetime memories, and learning moments that will help shape a future you’re only beginning to imagine.

One hopeful sign of progress and your hard work will be felt on campus when Lane Stadium shakes, and the Hokies beat the North Carolina Tar Heels on Sept. 3 on national television. It’s an “orange effect game” so wear your Hokie colors with pride on that and every game day this fall.

I know we’ve asked a lot of you since the pandemic began and even over the summer, but I hope you’ll kindly receive a few more small requests as we set out on this new academic year.

First, take care of yourself and others. These past two years have been so hard on all of us, and the suffering of others is often unseen. Reach toward one another with grace and kindness and build a plan to care for your own well-being. We have many resources to support you.

Second, be intentional and build friendships, especially with those who might have a different background or life experience than you. Ask people questions that help you know them and how they’re doing.

Finally, there are lots of people, especially those on the front lines at Virginia Tech (housekeepers, dining services staff, student staff, and many others) who have sacrificed much to keep our university open and running. With the labor market being so tight, we need every valuable team player in order keep Virginia Tech a welcoming, rewarding, and respectful place to work. Please join me in doing your part by saying thank you and by exercising patience.

Ut Prosim is a real thing, expressed through our daily choices to care well for one another. I am in awe of the good care you keep in motion at Virginia Tech, and I look forward to serving together with you this particular year.

With hope,

Frank Shushok Jr.
Vice President for Student Affairs

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