After nearly 16 months during which many worked remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Tulane employees returned to on-site work on Tuesday, July 6. Colleagues on the uptown, downtown and Tulane National Primate Research Center campuses were welcomed with smiles, hugs, breakfast pastries, beignets, juice and coffee on their first day back.
“It will be a new day as we return to working together, side by side, on our beautiful campuses to meet the challenges, embrace the opportunities and build the future of Tulane,” President Michael Fitts wrote in a universitywide email last week.
Returning fully to on-site work is intertwined with the successes of nearly 90 percent of Tulane faculty and staff being vaccinated and low numbers of daily COVID-19 cases on campus.
On-site work is just one of many steps the university is taking to transition back to normal campus operations. In June, the deconstruction of the 13 temporary classroom buildings on the uptown campus began and signage on both the uptown and downtown campuses were updated with amended safety protocols.
Tulane employees gather for coffee and beignets provided by Café du Monde on Tuesday morning, July 6, the first official day back to campus since March 2020. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
April Hill-Barker (left) of Tulane's Housing and Residential Life shares a hug with Linda Ricks as Sarah Entress looks on. Ricks and Entress work together in the graduate admissions office at the A. B. Freeman School of Business. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
(left to right) Walter Pons, Jessica Stephenson, and Jennifer French pause outside McAlister Auditorium for café au lait and beignets. All three are staff members in the chemistry department and were together Tuesday morning for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pons said, “It’s good to be back, and see people’s faces without a mask.” (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
With breakfast in hand, Katie Valentine (left), Miracle Husband (center), and Megan St. Pierre (right) walk back to the Office of Undergraduate Education in the Freeman School of Business. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Sol Doyle of Facilities Services attempts to clean his uniform of powdered sugar. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)