Students prepare for active fall semester at Tennessee Tech

Masks will no longer be required inside buildings at Tennessee Tech as of Oct. 26.

COOKEVILLE – With the first full week of fall classes officially underway at Tennessee Tech University, campus is filled with energy for the fall semester ahead, and there’s much for students to look forward to with a full calendar of student events and almost 90% of undergraduate classes set to meet in person.

Students began moving back into residence halls for the fall on Wednesday, Aug. 11; Week of Welcome activities began on Friday, Aug. 13 and the first day of classes was Thursday, Aug. 19.

“I’m looking forward to all of the on-campus groups at Tennessee Tech,” said Antonio Pedro, a freshman agriculture major from Cookeville. “I’m looking forward to having classes in person again, really connecting with the professors and my fellow peers face to face and honestly getting together and studying together again.”

Pedro and his classmates navigated the COVID-19 pandemic as high school students and while he says he has already made many “internet friends” at Tech through apps and social media, he’s looking forward to meeting them in person.

While the university has temporarily reinstated mask requirements inside campus buildings, classrooms are at 100% capacity this fall, outdoor spaces are hosting student activities again and intramurals will restart. 

“Students can expect to see their favorite events return this fall, such as the Mix & Mingle, SOLO concerts and Homecoming activities,” said Dean of Students Katie Williams. “During the spring, student activities and events looked a bit different with COVID safety protocols in place. Still, we continued to host many in-person events along with providing virtual options. We look forward to returning to a vibrant and active student experience in the fall.”

Plans for campus growth continue to move forward as well, with a groundbreaking for the new engineering building to be held in early fall, while the companion innovation residence hall will break ground a few months later. 

Walton Park on Dixie Avenue is now the new home to band activities and a place for students to play and relax.

All the while, a leadership group continues to meet regularly to discuss CDC guidelines, as well as campus health and safety. Tech’s Health Services offers daily COVID-19 testing and vaccines.

Coined a semester “In Full Flight,” the university has remained committed to offering the full college experience students expect.

“In full flight means we are fully informed, fully prepared and fully committed to deliver the best experience for students,” said Tech President Phil Oldham.

After returning to campus last fall the university community remained diligent to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and the rate of transmission on Tech’s campus has remained low. Since May, the university has hosted thousands of students and their families on campus for SOAR, Governor’s Schools and summer camps and maintained those low transmission and case numbers.

Air purifiers continue to be maintained across campus, and Tech maintains an ample supply of cleaning products and masks and an aggressive cleaning schedule for classrooms and high traffic areas.

For the latest campus updates as students return, visit

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