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Letter to the Community, Fall 2020

Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D. Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students 

October 19, 2020

Dear Boilermaker,

Thank you! As your dean of students, I want to share with you how very pleased and proud I am of the role each of you are playing in our collective effort to Protect Purdue. We are now in Week 9 and, all-things-considered, are doing remarkably well as a community. Without your commitment, we would not have made it this far in the semester. Your work and dedication to keep Purdue safe are valued and your continued commitment is definitely needed.

Now more than ever, we, the faculty, staff, students and community-at-large, must continue to do our part to keep our community safe! We know COVID-19 fatigue is real. We are seeing various other countries, states and communities prematurely reduce their focus and efforts to keep themselves and others safe. They are letting their guard down and in turn, relaxing their own personal safety protocols and precautions. Now is NOT the time to relax. Now is NOT the time to stop being cautious. Now is NOT the time to change what has been working for us. If we are going to make it to our predetermined time of mid-November when we plan to go remote, we must stay vigilant and cautious.

Purdue Football returns on Saturday, October 24th against Iowa. As an avid Boilermaker fan myself, it will be difficult knowing that our Boilermakers are on the field without fans in the stands to cheer them on to victory. Having said that, what our Boilermakers need from us most of all now, is for us to continue to stay the course with all things related to the Protect Purdue Pledge and avoid the spread or surge of the COVID-19 virus. Watch the game together, but in small socially distanced groups. Cheer loud and proud, but do so with your mask on to prevent the spread of droplets that are capable of spreading the virus. Enjoy the game and visiting with friends, but as always, do so in smart, responsible, and safe ways.

In this same vein, please see the below guidance, recommendations, and reminders to assist in keeping us on campus through mid-November.

  1. Mental Well-Being – We offer a continuous network of support for you, our students.
  2. ReEntry Purdue Atmosphere – While different, social engagement opportunities still exist.
  3. Protect Purdue Pledge
  4. Get your flu shot by October 31.

Boiler Up! Hammer Down! Hail Purdue!


Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost & Dean of Students
Purdue University
Schleman Hall| Room 207
475 Stadium Mall Drive | West Lafayette, IN  47907
Phone:  765.494.1257| Email:

Purdue University, Office of the Dean of Students, Helen B. Schleman Hall (formerly the Recitation Building), 2nd Floor, 656 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2086, Phone (765) 494-1747, Fax (765) 496-1550

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