These are strange times, times that none of us could have anticipated. The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has challenged and changed many of our assumptions. How grateful I am that we believe in and love a God who does not change, who makes Himself known through His Word. Confidence in God’s perfect wisdom and guidance carries us through the intensity of these days.
I wish I could speak to each of you. I know you have questions, and I sincerely hope that we answer them on this site today. I’d like to take some time to answer one of the most pressing questions that weighs on all of us.
Will students be able to return to campus? We really do hope that we can be together again, meeting face-to-face, and particularly for our seniors, to celebrate Commencement in May. In close consultation with experts, including one of the world’s leading authorities on viral diseases, we are waiting to make that call. It is too simply too early to predict the outcome of all the measures being implemented.
We are working with the guidelines from the federal government to be “socially distant” for the coming weeks. We are all hopeful that this will stem the spread of COVID-19 and we will restart classes as planned after Easter break.
If our situation changes and we are not able to do so, we would regret not finishing the year for the seniors with a Commencement ceremony. We are discussing alternate options just in case. In this unprecedented time, we do not know everything. Please be assured that we are monitoring this situation around the clock and seeking to be safe, cautious, and fair.
In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding. These “strange times” are also fluid times. Information and implications can change from hour to hour. We are doing our best to keep the community informed with general messages, as well as information tailored to specific groups, such as our international students, faculty, and athletes. For the latest information, please be sure to check www.taylor.edu/coronavirus.
On Monday, Dr. Michael Hammond, Provost/EVP was able to visit all the residence halls on campus. He reported that although there is an attitude of resignation and sadness amidst the confusion of this worldwide crisis, there’s also a resilience and hope that our community will stand with one another. Even as they pack up to return home, students are being intentional in reaching out to each other and to faculty and staff with love and concern. This is the mark of a genuine, enduring community.
Please check for updates here, as we are posting new FAQs and information regularly. You can also subscribe to receiving emails when new updates are posted by entering your information in the form at the bottom of the main page. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, email us at ICRT@taylor.edu. Our International Crisis Response Team is working hard to provide as many answers as possible.
In closing, let’s encourage each other, because we know that all things will work together for their good. This is our opportunity to live life together, “through active engagement in the Taylor educational mission” in a “community not defined by geography” (Taylor’s Life Together Covenant).
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ to all generations, forever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Faithful, grateful, and hopeful in Christ,
Paige Comstock Cunningham, PhD, JD, Interim President