News Release – Diné College, One of Two Arizona Colleges on Biden’s National Vaccination Challenge

An unknown Diné College student is getting ready to enter a building on campus and he is being screened.

Diné College, One of Two Arizona Colleges on Biden’s National Vaccination Challenge


June 4, 2021

TSAILE, Ariz.— Diné College is one of two colleges in Arizona and among 250 colleges nation-wide who have accepted President Joe Biden’s challenge to get students and the community vaccinated by July 4, according to online news site

“On Thursday, the Department of Education launched the COVID-19 College Challenge, effectively asking institutions to take a pledge that says they will strive to get their communities vaccinated,” reads the online article published on June 3. “The ED says the timing is crucial as students head back home for the summer but will return for fall semesters in just a couple of months.”

Diné College President Charles “Monty” Roessel receives his vaccination shot in February 2021.

“The Navajo Nation is still challenged with Covid-19 cases so the college would like to do its part to expand the efforts of having our employees and students vaccinated,” said Diné College Incident Command Director Velveena Davis. “Our goal is to ensure the safety and wellness of our Campuses as we start the transition to return to face to face operation.”

“We still recognize that we still have an at-risk population and those who are not eligible for the vaccine due to medical reasons. As Diné people, we look at our community as family and we want to help protect our Diné families at our community Campuses. For this reason, DC is joining this national initiative to continue promoting the efforts to end this pandemic and ensure our community are able to get vaccinated.”

President Biden is reaching out to higher education institutions to play a role in reaching a 70% nation-wide vaccination goal by July 4.

The challenge reads: “With their vast networking potential, institutions are being asked to double down on the messages and commitments they’ve already made to try to get their students and employees vaccinated. To that end, the Administration is asking institutional leaders to ensure they are taking a number of steps to achieve those goals.”

The article also says 400 institutions have issued a vaccine mandate. “More than 400 institutions already have implemented vaccine mandates, but the majority of colleges and universities have not, instead encouraging and relying on their populations to take care of doses on their own,” reads the article.

Diné College is one of the 400 institutions that have a mask mandate in place for staff, faculty, and students. “Our Incident Command Center also regularly sends out Covid-19 safety reminders and we encourage vaccinations,” said Marie Nez, Vice President of External Affairs.

Read the article:


Jazzmine D. Martinez, Interim Marketing & Communications Officer

Dillon Nopah, Videographer

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