American University Alumni Relations A newsletter for parents and families

message from DR. fanta aw
vice president, campus life and inclusive excellence

VP Fanta Aw

The first week of classes is over, and slowly but surely, students are settling in. Every fall is a time of transition, and this year, whether they are first-years moving from high school to college, sophomores experiencing AU in person for the first time, or upper-class students re-discovering campus after so long, all students are going through a transition. It is okay to struggle and not know things. It is okay to be afraid and tentative as friendships are forged and classes begin. For students, finding their place, their people, and their path will take time and involve many twists and turns. The key is knowing you are not alone. College is a time of exploring, learning, and growing. For our families, we ask that you help your students transition – not by doing things for them, but by supporting them, listening to them, and modeling patience, candor, and grace. This fall is a transition for families as well, and we look forward to being a partner with you on this exciting, challenging, and inspiring journey.


Dates, deadlines, and reminders

Students rub the talons

9/13 Last day to add a fall course

9/13 Last day to drop a course with a 100% refund

9/17 Last day to apply for a waiver of the AU Health Insurance 

10/1  FAFSA opens, students must fill out the FAFSA annually to be considered for need-based aid 

10/1 - 10/3 Family Weekend, details posted as available

10/15 Fall Break (one day), no classes, university offices and residence halls remain open

how to "college" with your student during Covid

President Burwell with new Eagle Families

We might be back to school on campus this fall, but we're not "back to normal." Join us for two upcoming webinars to learn more about what it means to "college" during COVID. Recordings will be posted to our YouTube page.

University Response to Residential Students That Test Positive for COVID:  Wednesday, September 8 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. This session is for students and families.

How to "College" with Your Student During COVID: Wednesday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. This session is for families will offer a deeper look at how you can support your student as we continue to navigate the impact of the pandemic.

The Student's Guide to Fall 2021 helps studends to quickly find key details about fall dining, health and safety guidance, tech support, package deliveries, local shopping and more. You can explore the guide here.

We also recently shared guidance with our faculty and instructors about masks in the classroom, managing student absences due to quarantine or health reasons, and returning to research.You can read the memo here.  

Event Calendar Make a Gift AU News

Family week: September 29 - October 6

AU Family Week Sept 29 to Oct 6

This year, we are excited to be offering a series of online and in-person programs and events to celebrate Family Week from September 29 through October 6, 2021. We welcome you to visit your student and our campus community in-person October 1-3. As we add events to the schedule, you should expect that we will focus in-person events between mid-day on Friday and mid-day on Sunday. While we continue to incorporate heightened health and safety precautions into our planning, we will not be planning large in-person events on campus this year. 


Did you know we have a website with curated content just for our AU parents and families? Find quick links to campus services and offices, find key dates and deadlines, explore area hotels, browse our webinar recordings and more!


peer advice for new students

CAS peer advisors

As we begin an exciting new year back on campus, we asked three College of Arts and Sciences peer advisors to share some of their hopes for the semester — and some well-earned lessons and advice for new students.

Afghanistan: what brought us to this point and where do we go now?


Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne, SIS professor and distinguished diplomat in residence, describes how the Taliban was able to take Kabul so quickly and what the US and its partners should be doing in response to the crisis in Afghanistan.

au's peril program addresses youth radicalization and extremism

At a time when digital gathering places act as breeding grounds for hate groups and materialize in real-world horror, the issue of youth radicalization is on the mind of the nation. In response, the Polarization & Extremism Research & Innovation Laboratory (PERIL), a program of the American University Center for University Excellence, directs the resources and expertise of higher education to the pressing problem of youth polarization and extremist radicalization. 



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