Aerial view of TAMU

Taking a Cautious Approach

M. Katherine Banks

August 11, 2021

Since taking office as president on June 1, I have looked forward to Friday’s commencement ceremony. I am extremely disappointed to learn that I will not be able to attend in person to address the more than 2,000 graduates who have earned their degrees.

I learned late last night that I was exposed to someone in my office who tested positive for COVID-19 and — just like that person — I have no symptoms and am fully vaccinated. I followed all Texas A&M University protocols by immediately self-reporting in the university COVID portal, completing a COVID test this morning, and scheduling a retest Sunday. I will continue to take precautions, including wearing a mask indoors.

However, since the president’s role in graduation puts me in close contact with a large number of students, I have been advised to avoid potential exposure to our students and their loved ones until my final testing is complete on Sunday.

As we begin a new academic year, this is a reminder that we must continue to be vigilant. Vaccines remain the most effective way to protect our entire campus community from COVID-19. Texas A&M will continue to offer both free vaccines and testing to all student, faculty and staff members. The most up-to-date information can be found on our COVID-19 guidance page. Please join me in following our protocols to keep Aggieland safe and healthy.

And, to the graduates: Congratulations on this significant milestone! I will be cheering for you as I watch the commencement ceremony live on KAMU.