Students, faculty and staff,
As the Spring 2020 semester draws to a close for our traditional undergraduate students, our minds turn to the start of the next academic year and the question that looms in all of our minds: Will classes resume in a face-to-face, on-campus format in the fall?
The answer is simple. Yes. In-person classes and on-campus activities and operations will resume in the Fall 2020 semester. Unless the Centers for Disease Control or state and local public health officials advise or recommend otherwise in the coming months, we intend to welcome all our incoming and returning students to campus in August.
All in-person classes in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies will remain online throughout the month of June. We are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and program directors will communicate any decisions regarding July classes directly to students.
As the University president, I am a caretaker. Every Trevecca student—whether residential or commuter, degree-completion or graduate level—has entrusted us to provide them with a quality education while also making every effort to care for their physical and mental wellbeing. I am working closely with University leaders to develop a plan that will allow us to return to a safe and healthy campus this fall.
To guide the many decisions this entails, a diverse group of University officials from across campus has been meeting several times a week for more than a month. Led by Dr. Tom Middendorf, University provost, this team has worked diligently to devise a number of plans, contingencies, procedures and recommendations that will allow us to reopen safely this fall. The safety of our students, faculty and staff is always at the forefront of these discussions.
We know that even the best-laid plans are often subject to change. As the Trevecca community, we have just walked through a week in which none of the events we carefully planned last summer to honor our December 2019 and May 2020 graduates took place as scheduled. We may not be able to discern every detail of the future right now, but we can choose to plan for the possibilities it undoubtedly holds.
We also recognize that COVID-19 has changed our world. Fall 2020 will probably look a little different from the previous falls when we’ve welcomed incoming freshmen, transfers, graduate students, faculty and staff back to the Hill. But at Trevecca, we deeply understand the value of community and its importance in the lives of our students. We do community best when we can be together. As a University, we will strive to do everything within our power to make that possible for the Fall 2020 semester, taking all precautions and letting public health guidelines, procedures and orders guide our decisions. Every plan we make will honor the deep sense of community and academic rigor our students expect and desire.
If there’s one thing my study and knowledge of Trevecca’s history have taught me, it’s that the Trevecca community is resilient, resourceful and dedicated. In the face of crisis, Trevecca Nazarene University simply shines. I hope to see you on the Hill this fall.
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