Hello Orediggers,

Welcome back! I hope you were able to reconnect safely with friends and family over the break and recharge.

We’re at the halfway point of the school year. Like last semester, our goal is to begin together, remain together, and make it safely to the end of the semester.

As we did in the fall, we’ll wear masks, interact from a safe distance, assess our health daily, quarantine/isolate as needed, and adjust as we learn from our experiences and data. Because we’ve seen virus transmission typically traced to social gatherings, dining, and interactions with others outside of the Mines community, it’s important to be especially vigilant when outside your households.

If vaccines become available to us, we’ll notify you of that.

If there was going to be a theme for this semester, it would probably be “innovation.” This will be our first with in-class Jedi course assistants (thanks to the students who suggested we try that!), we’re piloting virtual cloud-based computer labs (thanks ITS!), we’ll be breaking ground on the Labriola Innovation Complex (thanks to our donors and the students who inspired this project!), and MAC is going to design a fun and safe E-Days celebration for us (cardboard boat races please!).

I’ll end here as I’ve almost used up my weekly allotment of exclamation points. Again, welcome back. Best wishes to all of you for a healthy and successful semester.

Go Orediggers!


Paul C. Johnson

President and Professor