“As we have stated from the start of the pandemic, the health and well-being of U.P. community members must be our collective priority,” wrote Holy Cross Father Mark L. Poorman, president of the university, in a memo also signed by school leaders serving on U.P.’s COVID-19 steering committee and vaccination task force.
“As we have stated from the start of the pandemic, the health and well-being of U.P. community members must be our collective priority,” wrote Holy Cross Father Mark L. Poorman, president of the university, in a memo also signed by school leaders serving on U.P.’s COVID-19 steering committee and vaccination task force.

The University of Portland announced Tuesday that it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff when the fall semester begins. 

“As we have stated from the start of the pandemic, the health and well-being of U.P. community members must be our collective priority,” wrote Holy Cross Father Mark L. Poorman, president of the university, in a memo also signed by school leaders serving on U.P.’s COVID-19 steering committee and vaccination task force. 

“We have adopted several measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and, thanks to your extraordinary efforts, the university achieved success in keeping COVID-19 case numbers low,” Father Poorman wrote. “The vaccination requirement we announce today is just the latest step we must take on our journey to keep one another safe and return to the cherished in-person campus community that is so essential to our mission.”

Employees will need to provide proof of vaccination by Aug. 1, and all students will be required to show their proof of vaccination by Sept. 1.  As with all other vaccination requirements, religious and/or health-related exemptions from the policy may be requested. 

The COVID-19 vaccination requirement was announced through an internal memo shared Tuesday, along with informational posts on the school’s communications portals. So far more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide have announced vaccination requirements for students and/or employees, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, an education-focused newspaper.

Other Catholic universities with fall COVID-19 vaccine requirements include Georgetown University in Washington; Fordham University in New York City; Assumption University and Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts; Boston College; Chicago’s DePaul University and Loyola University Chicago; Seattle University; St Mary’s University in Notre Dame, Indiana as well as the University of Notre Dame; Trinity Washington University; the University of San Diego; St. Edward’s University in Austin; and Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

Acknowledging that vaccine availability might be difficult for some individuals, Father Poorman said the university “will work to assist our community members experiencing barriers to receiving vaccinations, including our international students who may not have access to FDA-authorized vaccines prior to their return to The Bluff.”

After more than a year of mostly virtual instruction and a limited number of students in its residence halls, U.P. announced plans last February for a return this fall to mostly in-person classes and normal campus operations.