July 28, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
During the COVID-19 crisis, our campus has worked and planned for the safe return of students, faculty, and staff. Despite our best efforts, we are currently seeing COVID-19 cases increase throughout the Southeast. As I write this the State of North Carolina is still under a Phase 2 order from Governor Cooper which severely limits our ability to operate the campus. The indicators that government and public health officials rely on to make these decisions are not trending in a favorable way. As a result of the current conditions, we feel that we have no choice but to begin the fall semester on August 17 with remote instruction and delay the return of students to our campus for in-person instruction until September 8.
Although I am writing this with a heavy heart and disappointment at not being able to see you as soon as we originally thought, I want you to know that we are determined to keep our commitment to you for in-person instruction and we can’t wait to welcome our students back to The Hill. Residence Life has prepared a detailed plan for move-in of new and returning students that will begin September 1 and continue through September 6th. We will hold the first portion of our Lion’s Roar student orientation online and hold the second segment in-person on Saturday, September 5th. As you return, things will be different, but we have designed policy with the safety of our campus and surrounding community as our top priority. The changes will allow us to continue to engage together, safely.
We will be wearing masks, maintaining safe distances, washing hands frequently, and increasing cleaning around campus. Classrooms will be cleaned on a daily basis. Additionally, sanitizing wipes will be available at each classroom for students to use in their workspaces. You will be introduced to a newly constructed Health and Wellness Center which is located in Nash and our dining operations will be handled much differently than in the past.
You will see a reduction in the charges for room and board on a prorated basis. We realize there will be questions from students and parents following this announcement. You will find the most updated information at our Return to Campus website and it will be updated frequently. I will also be conducting two live Zoom sessions during the week of August 11 for students and their families.
We appreciate your flexibility and patience as we make tough decisions and changes. We promise to keep you informed as we move forward and update you as soon as possible, especially if circumstances warrant further changes. I anticipate that my next communication will occur around August 21 about the move-in schedule.
Terry and I can’t wait to welcome our Lions back to campus on September 8th. Until then, please know that we are thinking about you, and asking you to keep yourself and your family safe as we all pull together to get our school and our communities up and running soon so that we can be together and work to build our community like never before.