Dear Moore staff:

The warmer weather in Philadelphia this week reminds us that after a long winter, spring is inevitable and finally on its way. At the same time, COVID-19 vaccines are making their way into the broader population in Philadelphia and around the country, and there is a renewed sense of optimism about the near future here at Moore.

I’m pleased to let you know that we expect to complete the full-time return of all staff to the Moore campus by June 1. In addition, we are planning for a full and safe return to campus in fall 2021 for new and returning students and faculty.

We are buoyed by reports of increased vaccine availability over the next few months and evolving guidelines from the CDC, which tell us that life may soon look more like it did prior to last March. While nothing is completely certain and some things remain unclear, such as whether we will wear masks and whether social distancing will still be necessary, there are many reasons to be optimistic. We expect that new and returning students will be able to enjoy a more fulsome college experience, and that all staff and faculty will return to campus full time.

We have accomplished so much this year as a community, with many lessons learned to apply in and out of the classroom. Still, I know we all look forward to physically working together again and to enjoying the everyday rhythms and small joys of life on Moore’s campus: walking down the hall to visit someone in their office or classroom for a quick chat; finding a sunny spot for lunch with friends or colleagues in an outdoor courtyard; grabbing a morning coffee from the café in Jane’s Corner; visiting the Galleries during a free hour to peruse the exhibitions on view; gathering to enjoy campus events and celebrations; and waving hello to familiar faces we may not have seen outside of Zoom for an entire year.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: I’ve been consistently awed throughout the pandemic by the resilience and tenacity of Moore students, faculty and staff. I’m extremely proud of the work our staff has done, in collaboration with each other and with our faculty, to keep things moving and make great strides in our work, often from our home offices or kitchen tables. We were able to return to campus with a hybrid educational model last fall and that we have continued teaching on campus this spring, thanks to a great deal of planning, collaboration and coordination from staff and faculty. Our students have also made the best of a challenging situation and have consistently adapted to the unexpected with grace and care for each other’s wellbeing, and I know you are as proud of them as I am.

Moore’s Pandemic Response Team will continue to keep us updated on developments as they arise over the next few months. As vaccines become more readily accessible, we await the City of Philadelphia’s shift to priority groups 1c and 2, in order to assist in arranging appointments for those who have not already obtained them elsewhere.

Thank you, as always, for your continued commitment and spirit. I look forward to our full community physically making its way back to our beloved campus and continuing our important work together under the same roof.

Best wishes,

Cecelia Fitzgibbon