Coronavirus Updates and Re-opening Plans from Adventist Universities
Adventist universities are announcing coronavirus-related news regarding distance learning, online graduations and Fall 2020 plans.
Below are the most recent updates provided online by several institutions along with links to additional school-specific updates:
We plan on opening Andrews University this fall and starting the fall semester of classes on August 24, 2020. We believe we have a strong plan in place to mitigate risk as we focus on safety for all of our community, including our students and employees. However, we will be flexible, creative and responsive to any changing situation and, if needed, will make additional changes to help assure the safety of our students, employees and community.
Avondale University College
Homecoming still on but only online
While the Australian and the New South Wales Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) has implications for the annual Homecoming, Avondale University College and Avondale Alumni will present the event August 21-23 this year. Homecoming connects us again with each other and with Avondale. That’s important.
At this stage, subject to no significant change in the social distancing restrictions for preventing the spread of the virus, we will present Homecoming 2020 in a modified, online-only format.
Online Graduation | June 21, 2020 – This weekend was when our 2020 graduation was scheduled to take place. We are disappointed that we are not able to celebrate our graduates face-to-face but we do feel that it is important to celebrate this great achievement.
Please mark June 21, 2020 in your calendar as the new online Spring 2020 convocation date. While this experience will be different than if we all meet face-to-face, we look forward to celebrating our graduates online with our Burman community.
We look forward to welcoming our 2020 graduates back to the Burman University campus for a face-to-face ceremony during our 2021 spring convocation.
Please visit our Burman University graduation webpage. More details will be posted as they become available.
Congratulations to the Burman University class of 2020. We look forward to celebrating your success this June.
Friedensau Adventist University
Friedensau Adventist University (FAU) started the summer semester in mid-March with regular classes. However, a few days later the lockdown came and we had to switch to online teaching. Within a short period of time this was relatively successful, so that we were able to teach about 90% of the classes. Since last week, the authorities have made it possible for us to hold face-to-face classes as well, since the Corona situation is very safe in our state. This way we can cover the last 10% of the lessons under strict safety precautions. Therefore, we will probably conduct the examinations as scheduled and complete the summer semester. The graduation ceremony in October is still firmly scheduled. Thank God, there are no Covid- 19 diseases in Friedensau.
We are planning to start and conduct the winter semester 2020/21 on a regular basis. There are many applications from international students, but we do not know yet whether they will get a visa and can enter the country in time. Applicants from the EU and other visa-free countries (such as the USA) have been able to apply recently, but we also do not know yet what delays the Corona crisis will cause. Therefore, we are planning for the autumn, but will be able to adapt flexibly to alternative scenarios.
La Sierra University
Cases: No known COVID-19 cases on campus.
Campus is closed through the end of the school year in keeping with county and state orders.
All academics and operations except critical functions are being handled online.
Classes: Online instruction for Spring Quarter began April 6. Summer Session will also be delivered online. For summer class registration information visit https://lasierra.edu/summer-program/summer-courses/. The university is committed to delivering Fall Quarter classes on campus as long as doing so comports with the law and can be done safely. Details to follow.
Athletics and public events: All athletics and public events are suspended.
The inauguration of President Joy Fehr has been postponed to Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.
2020 Alumni Homecoming: This year’s alumni weekend is canceled.
2020 Commencement: June 19-21 commencement has been postponed. Details to follow.
Loma Linda University
As you know, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our usual graduation ceremonies in May and June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been very disappointing to all of us, and especially those of you who expected to celebrate the completion of your academic programs.
We have now developed plans to hold a commencement weekend in the fall, during Labor Day weekend, September 5 and 6, 2020. While we recognize that some of our graduates will not be able to return on these dates, we do hope that most will be able to come and celebrate with us. The weekend will include baccalaureate services on Saturday, and commencement ceremonies on Sunday; depending on the number of graduates able to attend, we anticipate holding several ceremonies throughout that day.
We will be providing additional details in the coming weeks, as we continue to plan for this special day. Some of your schools may wish to celebrate their graduates’ accomplishments in other ways before Labor Day; they will communicate with them directly.
On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, Governor Kay Ivey announced the steps she will be implementing to “get things back to normal” across Alabama. The Stay at Home order will expire on April 30, 2020, and a new Safer at Home order will go into effect at 5:00 PM on April 30th until May 15, 2020. As we navigate this disruption Oakwood University will continue to do what is best for the health and well-being of its employees and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to State Health Officer Scott Harris, Alabama has not met the White House’s guidelines of 14 days of a downward trajectory in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in order to proceed to a phase one reopening. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, “all educational institutions will remain closed to in-person instruction except for daytime special activities programs.” The Oakwood University campus will remain closed until further notice and our employees will continue to work remotely. Please visit www.oakwood.edu for future updates.
Update on Awards Ceremony
Newbold is quiet with most of the College community away from campus.
Teaching moved online on 30 March, and after four weeks students and staff are adapting well to this method of learning and teaching, which continues to progress as smoothly as possible under the circumstances. We understand that this situation is far from ideal, and students may also be facing added challenges caused by health issues, stress or technology. Newbold has an Extenuating Circumstances procedure in place for students with valid reasons for being unable to submit written assessment on time.
Our exam week is approaching, with examinations commencing on 11 May and the final schedule available for students imminently. Advice and regulations have been developed to guide students through completing exams off-campus.
The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the awarding institution for Newbold’s Theology courses, has postponed its graduation ceremony. Consequently, Newbold’s Awards Ceremony (originally scheduled for 12 July) has also been postponed. Students will still be able to complete their courses and programmes and graduate this summer, with award documentation being distributed by post. We do believe that it is important to get together and celebrate the achievements of our students, as it is a memorable time for them, for their friends and family, and also for our staff, and we aim to hold this celebration as soon as is feasible.
Pacific Union College
Outside of the PUC Forest and track, our campus is closed to outside visitors. There have been reports of increased vandalism in the Angwin area, so please alert Public Safety if you see anything that seems suspicious at (707) 965-6551.
Only employees who have been designated as essential and students who have been cleared by Student Life and Health Services should be on campus. If you fall under one of those categories, please do not bring visitors with you and double check that doors are locked behind you when entering and exiting buildings.
Off-campus students are not allowed to return to the Residence Halls to pick up items or visit. Please alert a Dean or RA if a student is here so they can be addressed.
Health Services and the Counseling Center are here for you. If you have questions or are experiencing symptoms that concern you, you can reach someone 24 hours a day. These symptoms are not limited to COVID-19. If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression, or anything else that worries you, you are in good company – you are living through a global pandemic, so please take extra care with all aspects of your health. Both Health Services and the Counseling Center can be reached 24/7 at (707) 965-6789.
As you know, all on-campus classes have moved to remote and online learning for the rest of the school year. Along with this, our campus is closed to visitors until Shelter-at-Home Order restrictions have been lifted. Most faculty and staff are now working remotely, and the only people who should be on campus are employees who have been designated as essential and a small number of students who have been approved to stay in the Residence Halls. As much as we miss all of our PUC family, we are not able to welcome your students back until further notice, even for visits or to retrieve personal belongings.
For those of you with graduating seniors, rest assured that PUC remains committed to an on-campus commencement ceremony for your student when we are able to welcome everyone back to campus. We are disappointed that we will not be able to celebrate with you all in person on June 14, but we are in close contact with county officials and health professionals regarding the current guidelines, shelter-in-place orders, and event size regulations. We will have a date for you as soon as possible.
Southern Adventist University
- No COVID-19 cases have been reported at Southern Adventist University.
- May graduation is rescheduled for August 9, 2020.
- All summer sessions will be offered exclusively online.
- For new students, Southern is offering a free class in ANY summer session in lieu of the usual SmartStart program. Visit southern.edu/smartstart for more information and southern.edu/apply to begin the process.
- Southern will resume on-campus classes for the Fall 2020 semester, which begins August 24 (August 18 for new students).
- Campus is currently closed to all but essential activities, and most of Southern’s employees are working remotely. However, Southern remains fully operational, offering students the same care and support that we always aim to provide.
- International students with a pressing need have been allowed to stay on campus.
Southern’s FAQ for students can be found here.
You can read updates from Southern here.
- Information about the updated Winter 2020 grading policy can be found here.
Southwestern Adventist University
Southwestern Adventist University intends to safely open its campus beginning fall semester 2020. The university expects a more traditional fall semester which will include residential living, face-to-face and hybrid classes, and campus activities that are representative of the Christian environment we all cherish. These plans will be influenced by ongoing recommendations from local, state, and federal public health officials and the decline of COVID-19 cases. As we move forward, ensuring the continued health and safety of our University family is a top priority.
In order to facilitate and implement plans for the fall semester, the decision has been made to offer all summer classes online. In the upcoming months, the University will establish policies, social distancing strategies, cleaning protocols, cafeteria operations, academic transitions, etc. to ensure a healthy start to the school year.
For the students who are graduating, congratulations!! We look forward to having you and your families back on campus Sunday, August 9, for the graduation commencement ceremony when we can properly celebrate with you.
Union College will be open for in-person, on-campus classes in the fall.
Although Union will be open, the campus may feel a little different in August. The college will be following safe and healthy practices as recommended by the local health department—such as sanitizing surfaces and buildings more often and implementing other protocols to ensure everyone stays healthy.
The COVID-19 Taskforce is working on plans to gradually reopen campus this summer to allow students to return to work on-campus jobs and be fully operational in August. Union will release more details about how this will work in June. In the meantime, students who are interested in returning to an on-campus job or finding a new one later this summer should contact the department supervisor to see what options are available or check out the job board.
The campus is currently still in Open Limited status, so students should not return to campus right now—either to collect belongings from the residence hall or for a job. Before entering the residence halls or accessing other campus buildings you’ll need to receive clearance from the Dean of Students.
Walla Walla University
Classes will remain online for the rest of spring quarter. Our quarter system rhythm of operation differs from colleges and universities on the semester system, which has afforded us with a slightly different timeline to monitor how the COVID-19 situation has unfolded. On April 7 the WWU COVID-19 Taskforce made the decision to complete spring quarter online after reviewing the most current information, including the order from Washington Governor Jay Inslee that K–12 schools in Washington state continue online education delivery through June 19. Plans are under development by Inslee’s office for a phased approach to restarting educational activities in Washington state.
Graduation as we know it—a large gathering on our College Place campus—will not happen in June.
In keeping with the current Washington state order limiting large gatherings and closing K–12 schools through June 19, as well as recognizing that many families need a final decision about graduation so they can adjust travel and lodging arrangements, this year’s College Place graduation weekend is postponed.
Based on the response to a survey of our seniors and graduate students who will be graduating in June, we are planning a virtual commencement on June 14, 2020, followed by an in-person graduation celebration on our College Place campus in the spring of 2021.
For the virtual commencement on June 14, 2020, names of graduates will be read along with the degree earned, as is traditionally done at commencement on Centennial Green. The ceremony will be streamed live at wallawalla.edu/grad.
Washington Adventist University
Washington Adventist University (WAU) is proud to offer high-quality Christian education in the nation’s capital through which its mission to develop competent moral leaders is achieved. Although the challenges that COVID-19 has presented continue to make predicting the future difficult, WAU will move forward with this mission. Multiple contingencies are planned for many eventualities. An awareness of the distress some of these measures make on traditional student life is guiding WAU to seek guidance and think outside the box.
WAU is currently housing students adversely affected by COVID-19 over the summer and will be taking proactive steps to make sure that the residence halls are sanitized and ready for our on-campus students in the Fall. Non-students or outside individuals will not have access to the residence halls in the interim. Dean Timothy Nelson will be filling the role of Interim VP for Student Life until the process for filling the position can be completed.
In accordance with its liberal arts tradition, WAU is proud to continue to offer a comprehensive array of quality degrees and programs in 2020. Here is a list of included programs:
Education (Summer Teacher Institute)
General Studies (Pre-Law, Pre-Hygiene, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine & Pre-Osteopathy, Pre-Physician Asst., Pre-Physical Therapy, and other Pre-Professional Programs)
Health Care Administration
Health Wellness and Physical Education
Medical Imaging (Associates Degree)/BS
Music (Music Therapy)
Nursing (RN/BSN; RN/MSN; Graduate Education & Business Leadership)
PreLaw for all Disciplines through Honors College
Psychology: School Counseling
WAU is hoping to welcome our students back to campus in the Fall. We will closely follow the guidelines for opening campus as mandated by the state and CDC. Please check wau.edu for updates.