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.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.