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President Chillo provides update on details regarding the 2021 fall semester

Dear Thomas More Community, 

It is hard to believe that the spring semester is moving so quickly. In less than two months, we will celebrate the Class of 2021 with a personalized commencement on campus. Our newest graduates will join the ranks of fellow Thomas More alumni. For others, you are looking ahead to the start of a new academic year. After a year of uncertainty and flexibility due to the pandemic, I am pleased to share with you that Thomas More expects full operations and a complete residential and athletic experience for the fall 2021 semester. 

It is through the efforts of each of you in our Thomas More community that we can confidently make this decision. I know this past year has not been easy with Covid, and I appreciate all your help in making certain that we could stand by our commitment to provide you with an in-person academic year. We have learned a lot over the past year, and we continue to build out best practices to ensure that we keep our community safe during this pandemic. While we expect many of our community members to be vaccinated by the start of the fall semester, we will continue to be cautious in our planning. We continue to review the latest CDC guidelines and we are working with our local health officials to ensure that we are taking all necessary precautions. 

The fall semester will begin on August 16. The academic calendar for 2021-2022 depicts a normal schedule with a fall mid-term break, Thanksgiving holiday, spring break, and Easter recess. The fall 2021 schedule also includes more on-ground courses while maintaining options for online and hybrid courses for those who prefer these modalities. 

Along with the return of in-person classes on August 16, as noted in my February 22 communication, we are currently focused on a plan for a reopening of the residence and dining halls, athletic facilities, areas of worship, and on-campus student resources. This includes a full athletics competition and practice schedule, which will include spectators at events. We are working closely with the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference as plans are being arranged. We are also planning for in-person student activities hosted by the Office of Student Life. 

The upcoming academic year is full with exciting plans as we prepare to celebrate our Centennial. The Centennial will officially kick off with a Saturday night home football game on September 11. There will be a number of events held from September 11 through September 14 to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of Villa Madonna College. The Centennial will be a year-long celebration, and we will be sending more information as we get closer to kickoff. 

Right now, we are continuing to remain vigilant as we manage Covid on our campus and the vaccine rollout in our region. To ensure this upcoming normal fall semester, I urge you to continue wearing your mask, social distancing, considering vaccination in consultation with your healthcare provider, and calling Campus Safety at 859.341.4867 if you are having any Covid symptoms. 

Thank you for your continued dedication to the safety and well-being of our community. I hope the rest of the spring semester goes well and your plans for summer begin to resemble past summers. Continue to work hard, be healthy and safe. 

Additional details regarding the fall semester will be shared at HERE as they become available. 

Best, President Chillo