Coronavirus Update March 18: President’s Letter

Students/Parents/Faculty/Staff,

In order to be vigilant in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, and after extensive discussion and input from many sources, I’m announcing that we will be suspending in-person classes for the remainder of the semester.  On-line classes will proceed as planned for next week, and then continue for the next six weeks, followed by Finals week, May 4-8, again all online.

Seniors, it grieves me to tell you that we will be cancelling Commencement activities for this year.  We’re exploring options on how we can celebrate your graduation, but frankly, I’m doubtful about the feasibility of convening all of us at a later date.

To those students involved in Athletics, and in Music, Theatre and Dance performances, regrettably we’ll need to cancel all spring games and performances.  For students in clinicals, practicums or individual voice or music lessons, arrangements will be made through your respective departments and professors.

Obviously, this will require your cooperation and understanding as we navigate all these changes.  For example, Maggie Platt will soon provide direction to  residential students who need to return to campus to move out of your dorm or apartment.  And we’re working on the details of possible pro-rata credits for unused housing and meal plan costs.

I ask for your patience and your prayers as we work to address the myriad issues presented by this unprecedented crisis.  As a Christ-centered school, we know that God is bigger than any human problems, and my prayer is that we can find ways to live out our core values of Servant Leadership, Responsibility, Integrity, Generosity and Excellence, to make a difference for good in a hurting world.

Finally, while online learning may not be our preference, we will do all that we can to create our AU relational community virtually until such time as we can reconvene on campus. We value you and what you bring to our campus. We will look forward to a campus-wide celebration event in the Valley when we can all come together again.

Blessings, and be well,
President Pistole