Greetings to each one of you. It is my prayer that this email finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.
I am sure that you have read about or heard about the actions of schools nationwide to address the impact of COVID-19. In these times, it is essential that you feel informed about your university. This email includes several important updates. I encourage you to read it carefully and to reach out with any questions.
News for graduates: virtual degree conferral, May 16 and 17
In just a few weeks, many of you will finish your Concordia academic journey. Under normal circumstances, we would be gathering on campus and celebrating your accomplishments with your loved ones, faculty, and staff who have cheered you along the way.
I think the Class of 2020 will long be remembered for your grit and resilience, not only throughout your Concordia careers, but as you have adapted to this remarkable moment in history. We look forward to celebrating with you in person at our December Commencement when we will welcome you back in person for a very special celebration of the class of 2020.
It’s important, too, that we mark the moment this May.
On May 16 for all CUW graduates and May 17 for all CUAA graduates, the Provost and I will host a special, live virtual ceremony conferring your degrees. You have worked hard, sacrificed much, and dedicated yourselves in every way. You should be proud of this achievement. We are certainly proud of you.
To register for this very special experience (on Zoom webinar) you can click the below links:
Safe-on-Campus: the plan for an uncommon return, fall 2020
The University remains operational and we intend to welcome all students back to campus, as planned, this August. We are working to ensure appropriate testing, contact tracing, and physical distancing on our campuses and at our centers. What we do at Concordia University fulfills an important mission to prepare you—mind, body, and spirit—to lead and serve our Church and our world. We can’t wait to welcome you back.
In the first week of June, we will provide additional details about our plan for an Uncommon Return this fall, even while recognizing that our best planning may be impacted by continued circumstances. So stay tuned.
Spring 2020 room and board credit
A reminder from our March 30 email to all students: In May, the University will credit your student account with a housing and meal plan fee prorated to reflect the period from your confirmed move-out date through the end of the term. The prorated credit will also reflect financial aid adjustments. The credit may be applied against your Fall 2020-2021 charges. If you graduate at the end of the spring 2020 semester, refunds can be requested in May. Watch your email for instructions to request this refund.
Office of the Provost: honor program
The Provost has determined that this summer the University will issue its usual undergraduate academic Honors for the Spring 2020 semester. In order to maintain consistency, it will not include students who choose VP/VF options for candidacy on the Honors list. Please note that use of VP/VF grades will not have an impact on an undergraduate student’s eligibility for graduation academic honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) which are based on your cumulative GPA at the time of graduation.
Summer courses online until June 30
Courses will continue to be delivered via video conferencing/online through June 30, 2020. We will continue to communicate regularly with you about any changes or extensions to this delivery throughout the summer.
CARES Act funding
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress, Concordia will receive limited Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to be distributed to students who have been impacted financially with unforeseen expenses due to the transition of campus operations from face-to face learning to fully videoconference/online learning. Students will need to demonstrate eligibility and funds will be distributed based on documented need. Watch your email carefully in the coming weeks for important information about this potential funding.
In so many ways, it’s incredible to realize that we have been battling this pandemic since the middle of March. I know this experience is challenging you in unforeseen ways. Each of you has a different experience. Each of you has different needs. What remains the same is the heart of this University for you. Concordia means hearts together, and that connection stems first from the love first given to us by our gracious, unchanging, all-knowing Heavenly Father. We truly can’t wait to be with you, in person, safe-on-campus, again.
If you have any questions about the information in this email or any other needs that must be addressed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We will direct your email and ensure you hear back from your University.
In the meantime, stay healthy, be safe, live uncommon.
In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D.