Fall 2021 Announcements

Dear Central College community members,

Midterms have come and gone and it’s hard to believe just five weeks remain in the fall semester!


We have a lot to celebrate from the fall semester so far: multiple music performances, a production from the musical theatre department with a second one opening this week, students presenting summer research findings and so much more.

In addition, all of us at Central offer our congratulations to our fall athletics teams for their great successes and wish our winter sports teams success as they build off the momentum from the fall. We hope you’ll join us in cheering on the Central football team as it advances into post-season play at noon Saturday, Nov. 20, here in Pella against Bethel University. You can tune in to the game (and all upcoming home athletics events) from anywhere with the Central Dutch Network. Stream the game or download the app on your mobile phone or other devices. Go Dutch!

Thanksgiving Break

There are no classes during the Thanksgiving break from Nov. 24-26. Classes will resume Monday, Nov. 29. As a reminder, Central Market will close after lunch Wednesday, Nov. 24, and reopen at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28; the Global Café at Geisler will close at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, and resumes regular hours Monday, Nov. 29; Fred’s will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24, and will offer lunch and dinner buffets on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, as well as a lunch buffet on Sunday, Nov. 28, and reopening for regular service in the evening.

As you prepare to return home — or stay local — for the holiday, I ask you to please consider the Central community when making plans. We’ve done well mitigating COVID-19 and made it this far because of you and your commitment to our campus. Let’s finish this semester strong and safely.

Health and Well-Being

We also now find ourselves entering influenza season. I encourage you all to put your health, and that of those around you, first. Please consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine and/or the booster shot, as well as the vaccine for influenza.


The college continues to study implications of the announcement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which issued an Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 vaccination and testing. Central, as an employer with more than 100 employees, falls under this federal mandate related to either vaccinations or mask wearing and weekly negative testing. More information will be communicated in the weeks ahead.

Mental Health

I realize the past 20+ months have been challenging in more ways than we like to think about. With finals and holidays around the corner, I encourage you all to take care of yourselves and your needs and to look out for each other, too. If it helps, please consider a plan to “cope ahead.” This means considering thoughts and feelings related to the possibility of usual gatherings and travel looking different than in years past. Important steps in caring for your mental health include:

  • Being thoughtful of expectations.
  • Working to accept the present.
  • Taking time to care for your emotions.
  • Focusing on self-care and coping strategies.

If you are finding it difficult to process emotions, feeling overwhelmed with thoughts and uncertainty, unsure how to communicate your wants, needs or concerns with your family or need assistance finding coping strategies, reach out to Counseling Services. Counseling Services is a free resource for all Central students. Appointments are available Monday-Friday during the academic calendar.

Make time for your mental health this month by:

  • Taking a walk or exercising.
  • Journaling.
  • Scheduling an appointment with Counseling Services. Employees may schedule virtual counseling sessions through EAP.
  • Accessing the free mental health and wellness resources available to students through Therapy Assistance Online. TAO is a confidential, self-help website full of engaging resources on a variety of topics (anxiety, depression, stress, relationships) and mindfulness tools. Students can sign up using their Central email address and create a profile.
  • Doing an activity or hobby you enjoy.
  • Talking with a friend or family member.

Thank You

It takes the entire campus to make each semester a success in a variety of ways. I’m proud of you — our students, faculty and staff — for making this semester yet another successful one through your continued empathy, flexibility and heart for others.

Wishing you a strong end to the semester and a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.


About the Author

Mark Putnam

I'm the lucky individual who carries the title, 21st president of Central College in Pella, Iowa. Passionate about higher education and the issues facing it and the world today, I hope to invoke an engaging conversation with all who are ready to dig in, make a difference and build for the future. Share your thoughts. I'm listening and interested.