UPDATE: Dr. Bowling Addresses Traditional Undergraduate Students
Dear Students and Families,
Greetings from Olivet Nazarene University! It is certainly unprecedented that I am composing this update from the university campus that is nearly devoid of students. Frankly, it is unsettling to look across campus to see empty sidewalks and vacant classrooms. However, amidst this global pandemic, that is the situation in which we find ourselves.
I am sure your situations have a similar surreal aspect — you are home and yet still in school. I want you to know that I am thinking of you daily and praying for you as well. I am confident this is temporary. The Olivet campus we know and love will again be filled with students, faculty, staff, and promise.
During this time when the entire country is under quarantine of varying ways, I want you — every student, parent and prospective student, to know that we remain fully committed to our mission to provide “An Education With A Christian Purpose.”
God is With Us
I am also confident that God is with us here and with each of you. Since the University’s founding in 1907, we have faced adversity in many forms—including devastating fires, tornadoes, the financial stress of the Great Depression, world wars, and waves of social change. In all of these, God has proven faithful and Olivet emerged strong and united in its mission. We know scripture tells us “The One who has called us is faithful, and He will do it.” Therefore, we continue to seek His guidance, and trust His leading.
As you are aware by now, all programming has shifted temporarily to an online mode. Though this has its challenges, our creative professors and staff have embraced this format and are working hard to maintain their connection with each and every student. Our aim is to maintain the highest standards of instruction, in an effort to move every student closer toward his or her educational goals. We understand that students are also adjusting to new learning environments, and we remain flexible in our expectations. While we have made immediate strides to transfer programming online, we anticipate a full return to residential campus life by no later than September 1.
The Incoming Class
The incoming class at ONU looks to be strong both in numbers and in its academic profile. The Admissions team has implemented a new, dynamic Virtual Visit component that allows prospective students to experience much of the key Olivet features from their home including campus tours, conversations with faculty members, financial aid visits and counselor visits. We are confident this will help equip the incoming class with all they need before fall.
Room and Board Credits
It is important to us that we handle student room and board expenses appropriately. I am pleased to let you know that we will be providing credit for room and board for the unused portion of this semester and will provide a refund to graduating seniors. This is a commitment that we take seriously. Credits and refunds will be determined based on each student’s unique charges and the level of ONU scholarships each student is currently receiving. The Office of Student Financial Services will be sending details to each student as these are completed.
Registration for Fall 2020 Classes
Registration for the fall 2020 semester will begin on April 6. The Registrar’s Office will be sending updated information to all continuing students in the coming days. Returning students will also be receiving information concerning housing signups.
Commencement Exercises and Senior Week Activities
We understand that all of these changes have been particularly hard for our graduating Seniors, The Visionary Class. Efforts are underway to ensure each graduate has everything he or she may need to enter the workforce upon completion of their degree. Though we are not precisely sure when Commencement will happen, or what it may look like – we know what an important milestone it is for the entire community. We are working to find a time and a format when we can gather this great class back together for a closing farewell. We hope to have more information regarding that possibility in the coming weeks.
The Great Unknown
I recall my first days as a student on the Olivet campus. I had so many questions, I was so curious about the world and about all that lay before me. This adventure has not ended, just perhaps been put on hold for a brief moment. The Olivet you know — the Olivet we love will again open its doors. Please pray for us as we pray for you. Please take exceptional care of yourself and those around you. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns. Our entire faculty and staff are still on the job and ready to help.
Gratefully and prayerfully,
John C. Bowling