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Dear Members of the Rutgers Community:

A year ago today, the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus was detected in New Jersey, and in the days since, more than 23,000 New Jerseyans—and millions more worldwide—have lost their lives to this disease. Not many of us understood then the drastic ways life would change, nor the personal and societal toll this pandemic would cause.

From the beginning, Rutgers has been on the front lines, using the full power of its science, innovation, and determination to help make the world well again. We responded to this global emergency in ways big and small: by creating a better way to test for COVID-19 and sharing this discovery with the world; by working with our hospital and health system partners to care for the sick and then researching how the disease impacted those providing care;  by being among the first to graduate early our medical, pharmacy, and nursing students so they could join the front lines sooner; by partnering with the State of New Jersey to launch contact tracing to mitigate spread of the disease; and by conducting clinical trials of vaccines that are our best hope for bringing us back together soon.

Public universities like ours have a unique responsibility to uplift the health of the communities we serve. Rutgers continues to fulfill that responsibility—and its contributions in the fight against Covid-19 will have lasting impact for generations. In a year of uncommon challenges, I am proud of all we have accomplished, and I extend my deepest appreciation to each of you for your role in this life-changing work.

To read more about Rutgers’ united efforts in fighting COVID-19, visit

Wishing you good health,

Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH
Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs