March 15, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I write with a heavy heart and with an important update about how we are planning to manage in these challenging times of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
My message on Friday ended with acknowledgment that everything involved with the pandemic is very fluid. As such, things may change, requiring patience and flexibility every step of the way.
Based on recent developments, we will take a different course of action and begin an extended, two-week Spring Break tomorrow, Monday, March 16. All coursework will be suspended until remote, online learning starts on Monday, March 30, continuing through the remainder of the academic term, which will end on May 12, followed by finals.
Students should make plans to leave campus as soon as possible, taking their things with them if at all possible. Our expectation is that all students able to leave will be away no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17.
Within an hour, students will receive an email message from the Office of Housing and Residence Life with information about checking out of their campus housing. Students requesting special permission to remain on campus will find a link to an online form in this message.
We have no current plans to close the campus. Food service will remain available, along with other essential services. Supervisors will be in touch with their staff regarding next steps in their areas.
Importantly, I emphasize that the College remains committed to a meaningful graduation experience for our seniors based on circumstances in late May that would allow this to be safe and enjoyable. Details to follow on this schedule.
As I said before, this situation brings great sadness. The highly residential experience that is a hallmark of Centre College means the connections we have with one another are deep and meaningful. I believe they are so strong that our bonds of friendship will not allow this temporary separation from one another to diminish in any way what we mean to each another.
Susie and I are equally sad to see everyone go – you know how much we love you, but we hope you take a piece of us with you in your hearts, just as you will all remain in ours. We look forward to the opportunity to reconnect in better times.
In closing, I am reminded of a line by A. A. Milne that is fitting for this moment: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
John – P. Roush