Dear Immaculata University Community,
It has now been eight long and challenging weeks since we had to close the physical operation of the University due to COVID-19. My first concern continues to be the health and safety of our community. My second concern is when and how we will be able to reopen.
On May 11, 2020, Pennsylvania State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera stated he expects schools in Pennsylvania to reopen in the fall of 2020, but the process will follow guidance from state and local health officials. The University has begun planning to reopen campus for the fall semester, designed with increased health and safety measures in place. Please be aware that now through June will be critical months for us to see how the health of our nation and our region are evolving. We are very eager to bring our students, faculty and staff back together but we will not compromise our priorities of health and safety.
When the physical campus reopens, including dorms, please know that many things we take for granted will have to be modified. The plans we are developing are focused on keeping our IU community safe. The American College Health Association has issued excellent guidance that deals with all aspects of reopening a safe campus environment, and we are following these guidelines and those of the CDC.
There are a few other updates I would like to provide. First, we are about halfway through the move out process for our residential students. It has been great to see the students back on campus, even though it meant seeing them behind masks!
Second, to honor our graduates who will not be able to have their Commencement ceremony on campus this weekend as planned, we produced a short video to celebrate their accomplishments and success. You can access the video here beginning on Saturday, May 16 at 7:30 a.m. We continue to consider alternate dates for an on- campus commencement ceremony and will give graduates at least 45 days prior notice before the ceremony is scheduled. I wish I could be more definitive at this time, but we are adhering to the directives of Governor Wolfe and the CDC.
Third, as I mentioned in my last update, residential students will receive their refunds for about half of their room and board expenses on or about May 21.
Finally, as you know, 2020 is Immaculata University’s centennial year, and it is not exempt from the effects of the pandemic. Our Centennial Gala celebration originally scheduled for November 13 and 14, 2020 is now October 8 and 9, 2021.
Thanks to all for your resiliency throughout these entire eight weeks. I know I can count on you for continued patience and support as we move forward. Please stay well and safe.