A letter from University President, Dr. John C. Bowling.
The following is a letter that was sent to current students, faculty, staff and prospective families.
Dear Olivet family,
I am very pleased to announce that this week Olivet Nazarene University is completing what has been a very stressful and yet a very successful spring semester. In the midst of this season of uncertainty, I would also like to extend a thank you to you for continuing to pursue a worthwhile degree and life-changing experience from Olivet.
While the coronavirus pandemic did complicate University operations this spring, Olivet was able to rise to the occasion and find solutions to many of the challenges. Our Emergency Management Team met early in March to discuss multiple options for continuing classes. For the health and safety of our entire campus community, students did not return to campus after spring break. However, due to the extraordinary efforts of our faculty and staff, who quickly and efficiently transitioned our academic program and other services to an online delivery system, our current students were able to finish their classes and seniors to meet their graduation requirements. While it was not what we had planned, I was able to confer well over 1,300 degrees to graduates last Saturday morning as part of a special online Presidential Address. The University will host a formal Commencement Ceremony on campus later this summer. The tentative date is Saturday, August 15. All graduates and their families are encouraged to attend.
As we look to the future, Olivet is making plans to open campus this fall with on-campus classes and activities. This will likely look different than it has in the past, but we are confident that we will have a strong start. In doing so, we will follow all federal and state directives regarding continued safety measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Management Team is continuing to review and formalize our continuity procedures, in case we need to modify our plans before or during the coming year. Decisions are being made with safety as our highest priority and we are constantly evaluating class size, housing, dining options, social events, and of course, the potential of another outbreak.
I anticipate welcoming a strong class of incoming freshmen and transfer students to campus for the start of the fall semester. Nearly all of our returning students have already completed their registration for next year and we are all expecting a thriving on-campus experience. In addition, the president of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) informed conference schools that the Association is planning a full schedule of fall sports. Our coaches and teams are making plans to participate!
In the intervening months, a steady stream of information will be provided regarding the start of classes and other important activities. We are also using these months to make several significant campus improvements including upgrades to Ludwig Center, Reed Hall of Science, Burke Administration Building and other areas on campus.
The Alma Mater of this University declares in part, “The times we spent within these halls will ne’er forgotten be.” While that is true each year, it will be particularly true for all of us who have weathered the present storm.
Blessings to all!
John C. Bowling, President