Welcome to your fall 2020 semester!

Temple Owls,

It is my honor to welcome you to Temple’s fall 2020 semester. We have worked tirelessly to prepare for your new beginning, whether you are here on campus or studying remotely. Please also know that under our Temple “T” face coverings, our staff and faculty are smiling and warmly welcoming you.

Wherever you are, and whatever your specific needs, our faculty, staff, students, and all of Temple University are committed to providing you with the resources you need to make progress in your education, to build lifelong connections, and to help you thrive in these unprecedented times. We recognize that some of the ways we operate are different, and appreciate your patience as we all learn to adjust. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to improve your experience and to help you succeed in your advancement toward graduation.

I cannot emphasize enough how important each and every one of you is to making this year safe and successful. COVID-19 is a serious illness, and we have worked diligently to put new plans and procedures in place to combat its spread. But the truth is that all of our preparations can only go so far in protecting you, your friends, your faculty, the staff and our neighbors. Each of you has a vital part to play, and the extent of our success depends on you, starting with our four public health pillars.

As you settle in this week, I encourage our entire community to give a very special welcome to our outstanding Class of 2024.

  • Our incoming class is strong academically and among our most diverse, including roughly 40 percent students of color. That includes the largest number and percentage of Black and Latinx members in recent decades.
  • Our Class of 2024 is also geographically diverse, hailing from six continents (all except Antarctica!), 45 states, 48 counties of Pennsylvania and three U.S. territories—Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.
  • Internationally, the Class of 2024 calls 31 foreign countries home with our furthest student from Brisbane, Australia.
  • While your academic interests represent the entire academic spectrum, the most popular major for our first-year Owls is biology.

Thank you for choosing to become part of the Temple family! Take it from someone who has been part of the Temple community for more than 44 years: You could not have made a better choice.

For those of you studying remotely, we want you to know that we value your participation in classes and in the many remote events that will take place this fall.

If you’re on campus, please support each other in our collective effort to remain healthy and safe. This fall, it may take a little longer to navigate our buildings and to acclimate to our new policies. Your patience, your understanding and your encouragement can help potentially stressful times feel more manageable for yourself and others.

I also want to remind you that we continue to monitor health conditions on our campus, in our city and in the region. Should we need to make any change in our plans in order to protect the health and safety of our community, we are prepared to do so.

Remember: We’re in this together, so we can be together.

Richard M. Englert