Please do your part to make a difference for the ISU community

August 23, 2021


Dear Iowa State Community,

Welcome to the start of a new academic year at Iowa State University. 

It’s wonderful to see our campus full of activity with new and returning students eager to experience all that ISU has to offer, and to see our outstanding faculty and staff who excel at supporting our students and leading our teaching, research and extension programs.

We understand that the excitement of the fall semester is also met with apprehension as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. I encourage you to take the following actions to help make a positive difference for yourself and others.   

First, if you haven’t done so, please get the COVID-19 vaccine. The scientific evidence is clear – the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing you from getting seriously ill and it lowers the risk that you will transmit the disease to others. It’s important to get vaccinated even if you’ve already had COVID-19. The vaccine is readily available for free at our campus vaccination clinics and will continue to be offered at Thielen Student Health Center.

Second, wearing a face mask indoors when around others, such as in classrooms or labs, is another effective way to mitigate spread of the virus according to the CDC. We encourage everyone to wear a face mask, even if you’re vaccinated as it will provide you with a second layer of protection.

Third, take personal responsibility for your health and safety. Follow the Cyclones Care behaviors: get vaccinated; monitor your health; if you’re sick, stay home; and wash your hands often. A new website offers a one stop shop for student health and safety resources. Wellness resources also are available for faculty and staff.

Your healthy actions are a demonstration of your Cyclone Pride and will go a long way to support a successful semester.

I am extremely proud of and grateful for our faculty and staff and their phenomenal dedication to making each semester a success. Iowa State University is vibrant and strong because of you. Here are a few reasons to celebrate:

  • Our momentous fundraising campaign, Forever True, For Iowa State, has come to a close. We’ll soon announce the historic total and share how donor support is changing the lives of our students and transforming our university for the future.
  • Our faculty embody our new brand, Innovate at Iowa State, conducting research with local and global impact. Overall, our faculty helped attract a record $559.1 million in external funding in FY21. Check out these recent examples:
  • On Sept. 10, we’ll celebrate the completion of Sycamore Falls at Reiman Gardens.
  • That same day, we’ll also mark the opening of the Stark Performance Center for our student-athletes, and our nationally ranked Cyclone football team will kick off the season Sept. 4.
  • Construction is underway on the National Pan-Hellenic Council Plaza by the Memorial Union. The project will be finished later this fall to honor the historically Black sororities and fraternities that have been part of the ISU student experience for nearly 100 years.
  • On Sept. 30, we’ll officially dedicate the new Student Innovation Center and honor the generous donors and state partnership that made this landmark facility possible.

As we begin this new academic year, let us continue to build on these successes. Let us be champions of our land-grant mission, our Principles of Community and our commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive campus. With each of us doing our part, together, we’ll have many more reasons to celebrate this year.

With gratitude,

Wendy Wintersteen


This email was sent to all faculty, staff and students at Iowa State and is available online at Office of the President Communications.