Aerial view of TAMU

Calling On You To Lead With Selfless Service


August 19, 2020

Dear Students:

As we begin a new semester, I would like to welcome you and share my hopes that you and your loved ones are well.

Throughout the summer, our faculty and staff have demonstrated their commitment to your education by dedicating countless hours to preparing for your return to campus.

Even amid the challenges presented by COVID-19, we are all looking forward to the beginning of a new academic year. This fall we are also doing everything possible to provide you with the highest quality of education while promoting your health and safety.

Today I write not only to welcome you to campus, but also to ask for your help. Although this term will look different than previous fall semesters, I believe the Aggie spirit of respect and selfless service will allow us to be successful if we work together.

Here are a few steps you can take to help protect our entire academic community:

Wear face coverings – Texas A&M has required face coverings for everyone on campus since June 15, and this policy will continue throughout the fall semester. If you have questions, please review the face-covering requirements policy and FAQs. If you need additional information, you can email questions to

Physical distancing – In addition to wearing masks, we will also continue physical distancing on campus, including our classrooms, office spaces and other academic areas.

Testing – If you have symptoms, or if you have been around people who have tested positive for COVID-19, I ask that you please get tested. All current students are eligible for free testing through Student Health Services.  

Contact tracing – To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have created a new Texas A&M Investigation and Operations Center, which will feature leading epidemiologists, case investigators, and contact tracers. If you are contacted by these health experts, we ask that you please respond fully and accurately, returning their calls quickly if they leave you a message. This will help us safeguard the entire university community.

Don’t Pass it Back – In the longstanding tradition of our Yell Leaders who signal for our students to “Pass it Back,” this fall we have created a new tradition to help protect everyone from COVID-19 called “Don’t Pass it Back.” We ask that you remember our core values of respect and selfless service in looking out for the health of others, both on and off campus.

All of the practices above are based on recommendations from the very best information from leading health experts, and they will help promote the health of everyone, including your fellow Aggies, your friends and your families. If you have any questions, or believe you may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please visit our site for COVID-19 Guidance.  

Finally, I want to express my great appreciation of all of you. You chose Texas A&M because you wanted to attend a major research university that takes pride in its core values, its time-honored traditions and its commitment to providing you with a high-quality education.

While COVID-19 has presented us all with many challenges, I have been inspired by the extraordinary resolve and resilience of students like you. As members of the rising generation of leaders, I believe that you can and will rise to the occasion this fall.

Once again, welcome to Texas A&M. I hope you stay safe and healthy, and that this semester is both successful and fulfilling for our entire university community.


Michael K. Young