Cover photo of the coronavirus from Pixabay
Just before 12:30 p.m. on Friday, University of Dayton students received an email with a video sent from UD President Eric Spina, which announced the closure of campus for the rest of the spring 2020 semester.
“I speak to you today with a heavy heart, as I have some difficult news to share about the spring 2020 semester,” Spina said as the video began.
He explained that due to the urging of state and local public health authorities, it would be “inconceivable” to bring students and faculty back to campus any time before early May.
“I empathize with the heartbreak of our students and Flyer families who will miss this semester on campus,” he said.
In-person classes and campus housing for most students have been suspended since March 11. While on-campus classes were set to begin again April 7, UD is one of many colleges across the U.S. that has switched to online-only for the rest of the semester as the pandemic has worsened.
While the May 2020 commencement for graduating undergraduates and graduate students will be postponed, Spina promised to find a future date for the ceremony to take place, although specific plans have not yet been made.
“We will find a way to make it happen,” he said.
Spina also noted that the campus faculty and staff are working on the transition to fully remote learning. Students will receive more information in the next few days from Provost Paul Benson and VP for Student Development Bill Fischer.
Students will also soon receive information on when and how to pick up belongings from university housing.
Spina acknowledged that the finality of the decision to close campus represents a tremendous loss for the UD community, especially graduating seniors.
“I know, I just know, that (UD students) will rise above this challenge and thrive, and so will our beloved UD,” he said. “I am confident that the UD community will adapt to these changing times and grow ever-more dedicated to the common good, and to each other.”