Dear Alumni and Friends,
As we continue navigating the impact of novel coronavirus on each of our lives, I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. I write to share with you the actions we at Holy Names University (HNU) are taking to protect our campus community and to ensure that our students are safe, supported, and able to successfully complete the spring semester. Fortunately, HNU has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at this time.
The HNU community is incredibly resilient, and thanks to the generous support of our alumni and other partners, we were much more prepared for this unprecedented situation than we would have been a short time ago. For the past year, we have been implementing a Digital Learning Initiative that included upgrades to the campus’s IT infrastructure and a migration of several key courses and degrees to an online format. Days before we were ordered to shelter in place, we decided to proactively transition all classes to an online format to reduce any risk of transmission in our campus community. Because of our early work through the Digital Learning Initiative, we were able to move quickly. We provided faculty with additional training from technology coaching staff; identified students who needed laptops and/or access to the internet; and provided other technical support to faculty and students to facilitate the transition to distance learning.
In response to the six Bay area county shelter-in-place order issued on Monday, faculty were asked to remain at home and continue teaching remotely, all staff who can work from home were asked to do so, and students were encouraged to seek alternate accommodations off-campus where they might be more comfortable. Recognizing that not all students have other options, we remain committed to keeping the dorms open and essential services available for those who need them. Less than 100 students remain in the dormitories along with student life staff.
To reduce exposure risks, students and staff are following CDC guidelines of social distancing, the dining hall is providing grab-and-go meals, housekeeping has increased efforts to sanitize campus buildings that remain in use, access to campus has been restricted to campus residents and essential staff for the duration of the shelter-in-place order, and all campus events have been canceled or postponed. This includes our May 2020 commencement ceremonies, which we are committed to holding once it is safe to do so. Fortunately, student support services (advising, tutoring, HNU’s Career Center, campus ministry, and counseling services) continue and are available to all students remotely. We are in touch with all students through multiple channels to ensure their physical and mental well-being, as well as their academic success. For more information about HNU’s response to COVID-19, please click here.
In the coming weeks, we will share more of how HNU is responding to this global public health crisis and taking action to care for our community. I am deeply grateful to each member of our faculty, staff, and student body for their patience, flexibility, and dedication, and I am thankful to you for keeping HNU close in your heart. I pray tonight for your health, for the health of our community, and for our world. We will get through this together.
President, Holy Names University