Campus News

Welcoming our students; remembering our responsibilities

photo of students walking on UK campus
Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 1, 2022) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto sent the following message to the campus community today.

Key Takeaways

  • ​​​​​We are prepared to welcome a record number of incoming students, as well as new faculty and staff.
  • We are mobilizing efforts across campus to help those impacted by the flooding events in eastern Kentucky.
  • We will continue to be vigilant about COVID-19 and vaccinating our community.

Dear Campus Community,

I have been anticipating the start of the academic year for some time. We have momentum as an institution that is doing more than at any time in our history to advance Kentucky.

In a few weeks, we will welcome a record first-year class of more than 6,000 students. Nothing is more central to our state’s progress than educating a skilled and diverse workforce and citizenry.

They will be joined by some 200 new faculty, whose teaching and research agendas across our campus will help us continue the momentum we have in changing lives, healing people and transforming communities.

We also are welcoming new staff members who support the education, research, service and care missions that make this place Kentucky’s university.

Hundreds of members of our campus community in every department and unit have been preparing throughout the summer to welcome new students and colleagues.

A couple of important opportunities are in place to help welcome our new students. Employees can volunteer to work Big Blue Move-in by signing up here or K Week by emailing

For many students, move-in and K Week represent their first encounter with college life and the beginning of their journey as a Wildcat. Our collective support is essential to their success.

Supporting Eastern Kentucky

The storms that swept through eastern Kentucky last week wiped out entire communities and created pain for so many people in our state.

As with the tornadoes that devastated much of western Kentucky late last year, the flooding in eastern Kentucky has impacted our campus as well. Multiple UK colleges have a presence in eastern Kentucky as does our health care system. Our crisis management team is working in partnership with UK HealthCare, state officials and others across our campus to support UK people and initiatives in the region.

As I wrote to you last week, there are dedicated avenues of support to help members of the UK community who have been impacted:

For student-related issues, such as counseling and basic needs support, please direct individuals to call our UK Center for Support and Intervention (CSI) at 859-257-3755. We have reached out to more than 1,100 current students — undergraduate, graduate and professional — from the region and will continue contacting them this week. We also have reached out to our incoming students and families from the region to offer support.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the flooding and needs support, please reach out to us at For more general questions, call UK Health Corps at 859-218-SAFE.

If you would like to support the UK community, you can donate to our Basic Needs and Persistence Fund for students or our Crisis Program Gift Fund for faculty and staff.

You also can find a comprehensive list of flooding resources, including information on donations and FEMA assistance, on the state’s website.

Staying Healthy and Safe

We know we must also remain vigilant about other health challenges and concerns. As we have throughout every phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

For the latest information about COVID-19, our protocols and resources for support, you can visit our coronavirus website.

Some highlights of our response and places for support include:

Anyone who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is strongly encouraged to do so and can request one here.

Wearing masks — while optional on our campus (except for UK HealthCare spaces as identified by signage) — is encouraged as an added layer of protection.

Masks and hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms and other facilities, such as the W.T. Young Library, to start the academic year. We also will be delivering supplies of masks to our residence halls.

UK Health Corps continues to support our students and employees through contact tracing, providing crucial resources and helping them navigate current public health and safety guidelines from the CDC.

To provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccines or test results to UK Health Corps, please use the self-report tool.

Thank you for all you do as members of this community to make our mission to advance this state real and relevant today and for all those who will follow.

Eli Capilouto