Letter From the President to On-Campus Students

March 16, 2020

Dear Students,

Watching the Maryville community come together in a time of such uncertainty is truly remarkable. Thank you for your patience and understanding during the virtual learning transition and the rapidly changing circumstances.

As a result of the developing coronavirus pandemic, we’ve made the decision to suspend on-campus classes and remain virtual through the end of the spring semester, including final exams. Your professors will provide specific information to you through Canvas, including how you can access equipment or materials for courses with experiential learning requirements. This difficult decision was made in consultation with our local health officials, under guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and with our utmost concern for your health and safety as the ultimate determining factor.

At this time, access to campus is limited. Residential Life will be conducting move out on Tuesday, March 17 through Thursday, March 19 and all residential students who are able to leave must return home and stay home for the rest of the semester. Students with exceptional circumstances who are unable to return home may request an exception to remain on campus. Such requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure individuals remaining have the necessary support and accommodations.

All residential students can expect an email from Residential Life with specific logistical information regarding move out and how to submit a request to stay on campus. This information will also be posted on Maryville.edu/housing.

Maryville is working hard to provide access to all student support services virtually to aid you as you transition to this new learning modality. If you have questions or concerns about the continuation of particular services, please contact your life coach.

Maryville does not have any known COVID-19 cases among on-ground campus community members at this time, but as the situation evolves, it’s highly likely there will be more confirmed cases in our region. The decision to continue virtual learning is in line with the CDC’s “social distancing” guidelines and minimizing risk of exposure. All university-sponsored events have been canceled or postponed until further notice. Some events will be shifted to a virtual format. More information on event status can be found at Maryville.edu/events-status/.

In consideration of restrictions recently announced from both St. Charles County and St. Louis County as well as guidance from the CDC limiting gatherings to 50 people for the next 8 weeks and to adequately protect our graduates, faculty and staff, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person commencement and related activities for the spring semester. Commencement represents an important celebration of our graduates’ academic journey and accomplishments and we are working to develop alternative plans to celebrate our graduates’ accomplishments. Additional information will be emailed to those registered for graduation as plans emerge and posted on Maryville.edu/commencement.

This pandemic has altered our way of life but like all past crises we are confident that working together we will overcome and prevail. Our hearts and prayers go out to people who are infected around the world, and the thousands of students, faculty, staff and their families impacted in so many ways.

Rest assured we are planning for a renewal of full on-ground academic, student life and athletic offerings this coming fall.

Mark Lombardi, PhD