Published on March 23, 2020 at 6:25 p.m.  

Samford Community,

Thank you for your continued patience as the university responds to the dynamic and evolving public health crisis surrounding the spread of COVID-19.  Developments in recent days have made it clear that a quick end to this pandemic is unlikely.

After a thorough review of the latest directives from federal and state officials, we have made a number of difficult decisions about the remainder of the spring semester.  These plans are outlined below and are also available on the Samford coronavirus website.  We will update these plans as additional information becomes available.

  1. Spring 2020 Classes:  Online instruction for classes, which began on March 16, will be extended through the end of the spring semester.  There will be no further on-campus instruction.  We remain committed to providing a dynamic virtual learning environment and appreciate the resilience of our students and faculty during this transition.  The Provost has organized a committee consisting of students, faculty and administration that is developing a policy for academic grading and pass-fail options.  You will receive an email on Wednesday, March 25 updating you on the decisions of this committee.
  2. Cancellation of Spring Events:  Athletic activities and other on-campus events are canceled for the remainder of the semester.  Although it appears unlikely that on-campus spring commencement ceremonies will be held as currently scheduled, we will postpone a final decision regarding that matter for a few more days.  We are actively exploring a number of alternative means of recognizing the significant accomplishments of our graduates.  We are committed to celebrating the class of May 2020 with an in-person commencement ceremony and will provide additional details as they become available.
  3. Summer Study Abroad:  All university study abroad travel scheduled to depart now until June 25, 2020 is canceled.
  4. Undergraduate Convocation: updated information regarding undergraduate convocation credits is available on the university’s convocation webpage.

We are deeply saddened by this situation, especially as it relates to the experience for the class of 2020 who are finishing their time as Samford students in this unprecedented manner.  While making these decisions is extremely difficult, the health and safety of our Samford community is our top priority.  It is also important that we do our part for the health and safety of our broader community, state and country.  We hope that by taking these actions now you can begin planning for the remainder of your semester.

We are committed to sharing regular, timely updates with you as the situation continues to evolve.  Additional information will be provided in the days ahead regarding potential room and board refunds or credits, residence hall move out and academic grading policies.  We will continue to update our coronavirus website and encourage you to send any questions that are not answered there to  My prayers are with each of you.

Best… Buck

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