Harding University announced today that the rest of the spring semester will be conducted through online instruction due to growing national and global health concerns surrounding COVID-19.
While on Spring Break, students were informed last Thursday that on-campus classes and activities were postponed until further notice, transitioning instead to online education. One week later, students learned via an email sent at 1 p.m. today that this change would remain in place for the rest of the semester.
The May 2020 commencement ceremony has been rescheduled for graduates to cross the stage in August. Students who complete all graduation requirements will still have their degrees conferred in May.
Students will be notified via email March 23 how to proceed with moving their belongings out of on-campus living quarters. They were asked not to return before then.
Residence halls are limited only to students who have no other option. Arrangements for this must have been made through the Office of Student Life. The email specified extenuating circumstances, as detailed below.
“This includes those whose homes are outside of the U.S.; those whose internships or practicums require them to remain; those whose home communities are quarantined; those for whom returning home represents a health/safety threat. Food service is available,” the email stated.
In lieu of mandatory chapel, an online daily devotional will be available across Harding’s social media channels every day at 10 a.m. CT beginning Monday. Watching the devotionals is not required of students, but it is encouraged.
Intercession and summer classes will begin as planned, as of now.
Spring Sing will resume in 2021. Next April’s show will keep this year’s planned theme, “Once Upon a Time.”
“We will resume normal life and will be back together as soon as is feasible,” President Bruce McLarty wrote in the email. “Our prayers are with all of the Harding community and with our entire world as we pray for protection, healing and strength through this difficult time.”
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 10,755 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 154 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center; globally, there were 235,404 confirmed cases and 9,785 confirmed deaths as of Thursday afternoon.
Arkansas Department of Health confirmed 46 cases in the state as of Thursday morning. White County did not have any confirmed cases at the time.
Students will receive updates through their Harding email.