A first-of-its-kind first day


Heat, steam, and oxygen gas rise from a volumetric flask during a demonstration in CHEM 050 class in Troxel Hall on Aug. 17, the first day of the fall semester. Chemistry lab technician Marco Benitez operates a camera at right. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

One-hundred and fifty days after in-person instruction was suspended at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, students returned to campus this week for a first day of class unlike any other. 

By design, fewer students, faculty and staff were physically present, reducing density to make physical distancing easier. Those who were on campus wore face coverings, whether they were basking in the natural light of a study space or in a classroom prepared with precautions in mind.

To ensure a successful fall, follow the pillars of Cyclones Care. Wear a face covering. Keep physically distant. Wash your hands often. Stay home if you're sick.


Michael Martin instructs his landscape architecture class during an outdoor session studying campus landscapes on Aug. 18.


Freshman Ashley Falcon (left), an undecided engineering major from West Des Moines, studies adjacent to others on the fourth floor of the Student Innovation Center on Aug. 18.


Buddhi Lamsal instructs his FS HN 471 class inside a Physics Hall auditorium on Aug. 17.


Junior Yishuen Lin, a dietetics major from Malaysia, studies while safely distancing from others outside Parks Library on Aug. 17.