COVID-19 Update 3/16/2020
Today, the CDC asked for our nation to take strong action in a unified effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19. One of their requests was for educational institutions to have students’ study from home. We take these mandates seriously and have chosen to move our courses online effectively immediately.
In addition to this precaution, it is important to close the residence hall for the remainder of the semester beginning this Saturday, March 21, at 5 PM. The Dean of Student Services will follow up this email with specific instructions within the next 24 hours on how this process will work moving forward. While we continue to work on the specifics, be assured that everyone is permitted to leave their belongings in their room. We understand the difficulty that this short notice will cause for many. As a result, we are willing to work with everyone to ensure that they can get their belongings out of the dorms in an acceptable time frame that is safe for everyone. We will also be communicating information about finances related to the closing of the residence hall.
Following this extended Spring Break, online classes will resume Monday, March 23, and will remain online for the foreseeable future. The UC and UGST Academic Deans will follow up with further information before the end of the week. We hope it will be possible to reunite for graduation to celebrate our seniors; we will keep you updated during the coming weeks.
No doubt you are being inundated with information regarding the coronavirus. It may seem there is constant change all around. Remember that God is our source of peace, and He is ever faithful. We want to assure each of our students that our administration, faculty, and staff remain committed to seeing you through the academic year. Please keep doing your homework and working on those projects! Try to stay focused on your academic priorities despite the challenging circumstances you are facing. It is critical to continue in your studies and finish strong.
We recognize that this new reality will create difficulties and challenges for our community, but also some unique opportunities. We will make it through this crisis together and with the Lord’s help. Continue to pray. Pray for calm and peace across our country and around the world. Pray for the health of the people infected with the virus. Pray for the strength and wisdom for the healthcare workers, doctors, and scientists who are working to treat people and understand the virus. Pray for our leadership, both in government and in our church community.
It is our time to shine. And shine brightly. Let our social messages, and examples to others reflect the hope we find in Christ. Let it be said of us as it was of the early church that we faced hard times with the strength that comes from our faith in Christ, faith that is stronger than fear, and that our light shined so brightly it pierced the darkness drawing others to Him.
In His Service,
Dr. Brent Coltharp, President
Jennie Russell, Executive Vice President