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Together, you did it!

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Students in the on campus tent

Image: Congratulations to all graduating Lutes this weekend!

May 28, 2021

Dear PLU Community,

It’s the last day of spring finals at PLU! Thank you for all of your extraordinary efforts this semester. Students, staff, and faculty across the university have been actively working with and for each other to keep everyone healthy and safe—and we want to say thank you for that, Lutes.

According to The New York Times, we have had the lowest case rates of the universities in Pierce County throughout this whole academic year. This is the result of your efforts. Working for the collective care and well-being of Lutes and our neighbors makes all of us stronger.

Before we sign off for the semester, here are a few last reminders:


All Lute community members are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are able. Locate your closest vaccine appointment in Washington.

This month, PLU announced the expansion of the student immunization requirement to include the COVID-19 vaccine. PLU will require all students — undergraduate and graduate, with the exception of students of the online MS in Marketing Analytics program — to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus for the fall semester, with case-by-case exceptions made for medical or religious/right of conscience reasons.

YES — if you are vaccinated and are on campus, you can take your mask off outdoors and in some indoor areas.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks or physically distance, except where required by federal, state, local, and tribal laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. (PLU faculty and staff, Governor Inslee just issued a new Healthy Washington Proclamation. We will send more information on vaccination attestation requirements to you next week.)

We do have spaces where all Lutes will still need to mask up through Summer Session Term I (June 7 – July 2). Areas and activities that still require masks include:

  • All indoor teaching and learning spaces, e.g., classrooms, meeting rooms, the library, and labs (in line with Washington’s updated mask guidance for schools)
  • The Commons, 208, and all dining facilities, except while consuming food or drink
  • The PLU Health Center
  • All visitors to indoor spaces on campus

Vaccinated Lutes can go without masks in all other spaces.

As vaccination rates climb, and as public health-guidance adapts to these changing conditions, we are looking forward to a time when we can remove the mask requirement for vaccinated individuals altogether. Stay tuned for more updates about masks and any other policy changes that might be applicable for Summer Session Term II and beyond.

Have the conversation

As we adjust to this new guidance, please be aware that not everybody who is fully vaccinated will be comfortable removing their mask. So check in with your colleagues and friends, and remain considerate of individual choices and comfort levels.

Don’t feel pressured to be maskless. If you’re more comfortable wearing your mask, please continue to do so, and feel free to say, “I’d rather keep wearing a mask.”

Study Away

As the world begins to open back up, the Wang Center for Global and Community Engaged Education will continue to assess risks to health, safety and well-being, and the impact of PLU programs on local communities, related to COVID-19. As of May 20, PLU has approved Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 Study Away for most program locations. Select J-Term 2022 programs are able to accept new applications! The extended application deadline for these programs will be July 1.

Note: All Study Away participants, including faculty and staff, are required to be vaccinated.

Lute Telehealth

Please remember that telemedicine and remote-care services are here for students year-round. Lute Telehealth provides 24/7/365 access to medical and mental-health support, via both on-demand and scheduled appointments. Things may not catch up to you until you have had additional time to rest, so please reach out at any point.

We are all PLU together, and we wish each of you a safe and restorative summer.

In community,

Allan Belton

Dr. Joanna Gregson
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Joanna Royce-Davis
Vice President for Student Life

Teri Phillips
Chief Operating Officer and COVID-19 Site Supervisor

Elizabeth Hopper
Director of the Health Center