Campus News

Time to Meet the Moment: Protect; Respect; Do Your Part

Video produced by UK Public Relations and Marketing. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2020) 2020 has been a year consumed by what we first knew as the coronavirus, soon to be followed by the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19. The first communication to the University of Kentucky community from President Eli Capilouto came Jan. 23 asking anyone who had traveled to China and had symptoms of the virus, to contact University Health Services.

From then, until today — nearly seven months — a steady stream of messages continues with the sole purpose of informing, educating and protecting the UK community.

When Capilouto announced on March 17 that the Spring 2020 semester was moving to remote learning, and that students had to leave campus, COVID-19 had been declared a pandemic, and no one knew when the university would be able to welcome students back.

But thanks to a huge amount of work in a relatively short period of time by thousands of UK staff, faculty and administrators, UK is back.

We met the challenge of reinventing environments, classes, procedures and organizations in order to get here safely. The next challenge before us is to stay here — and have a safe, healthy and successful fall semester. We must faithfully adhere to the daily 4.0: complete the symptom screening, wear a mask, wash our hands and physically distance.

Our mantra has become Protect. Respect. Do Your Part.

As many members of the UK family emphasize in the video above, if we work together as a team to respect and protect each other, we can achieve success this fall at the University of Kentucky — where anything is wildly possible.

photo of students in a limited capacity classroom in White Hall
First day of class in Mohammad Zannoun's Introduction to Sociology class in White Hall Classroom Building. Tags mark where no seating is allowed to follow physical distancing safety guidelines. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.