Coronavirus Updates

//Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates

Ferrum College Coronavirus Updates

July 2, 2020 9:34 a.m.

Message from Director of Human Resources Chris Chandler

Dear Ferrum College Family,

Effective immediately, all College faculty and staff must follow the following measures concerning the wearing of cloth face coverings:

1. Faculty and staff must have a face covering with them when working on campus.

2. The College strongly encourages faculty and staff who are working on campus to begin wearing face coverings in the workplace on a daily basis and, as much as is feasible, practice social distancing.

3. Faculty and staff must wear face coverings when interacting with others on campus and when at least six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

4. Direct any questions regarding the above to the College’s Pandemic Coordinator, Nicole Lenez, or to the Human Resources Office.



July 1, 2020 4:57 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family!

I hope you are doing well ahead of the holiday weekend! I wanted to send you an update on where we are in Virginia and some reminders to keep yourself as healthy as possible.


VA total positive cases: 62,203
Roanoke city total positive cases: 438
Roanoke County total positive cases: 253
Henry County total positive cases: 264
Franklin County total positive cases: 91  (avg. 5.1 new cases a day over the last 7 days)

  • Franklin County (and neighbors) are a bit of a hot spot right now seeing increases daily.
  • Even though we are entering Phase III today, please be cautious as you go into public and travel.
  • Please wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently.


  • Just a reminder of Dr. Johns’s email from July 27 about travel. He asked that we use an abundance of caution in activities and travel and to try to avoid hotspots where infections are increasing–areas like Myrtle Beach, other crowded tourist destinations, and states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas.
  • In addition to the CDC Map which shows overall positive cases, the NYT hotspot map uses a 7 day average of new positive cases and could be a helpful resource as you plan.

Phase 3:

  • Full Guidelines for Phase 3 can be found here.
  • Bar seating and congregating areas of restaurants will remain closed
  • All Virginians must continue to comply with the statewide face covering requirement in indoor public spaces, and Virginians are strongly encouraged to:
    • continue teleworking if possible
    • wash hands regularly
    • maintain six feet of physical distance when outside of home
    • get tested immediately if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Tomorrow I will share the guidance if you are found in close contact with someone who tests positive and/or if you test positive for our community reference.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!


Campus Visitor Policy

Updated: June 30, 2020

Ferrum’s historic campus is open to the public and guests are welcome to enjoy outdoor spaces as long as they maintain physical distancing standards (6 feet) and avoid gathering in groups larger than allowed by Franklin County and Commonwealth of Virginia laws (currently 25 individuals or less). Guests who would like access to indoor spaces must set up an appointment with the appropriate office they are looking to visit.

Prospective Student Visits

Ferrum continues to welcome to campus prospective students and their families. Appointments must be set up in advance by contacting the Office of Admission at or 1-800-868-9797. When visiting campus, please report to the Office of Admissions (Spilman-Daniel House) upon your arrival. Before and upon arrival, you will be informed about the campus physical distancing protocols and requirements for protective face coverings.

Prospective student-athletes can arrange visits through the appropriate coach. Athletic staff information can be accessed here:

Vendors, Contractors and Other Visitors

All visitors to campus should wear a mask when meeting with members of the campus community, including college staff, faculty, or students. If visitors to campus are not meeting with a member of the campus community, they should follow their company’s public safety protocols and the recommended public health guidelines issued by the Virginia Department of Health.

Non-emergency work is prohibited in Clark Hall (summer housing) by outside contractors at this time.


Updated: June 30, 2020

Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE: Ferrum College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on May 4, 2020. The College has used no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

RESPONSE: Ferrum College received $836,808 on May 13, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE: The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of June 29, 2020 is $834,472.

4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE: The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 900.

5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE: The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of June 29, 2020 is 859. Due to eligibility requirements, this amount has been updated from 865 that was originally reported on the May 12, 2020 post.

6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE: In determining the grant amount for each student, the College used the following formula:

  • A flat amount of $500.00 for full-time students and $250.00 for part-time students. The May 12, 2020 post indicated that dual enrollment students would receive $150.00. After further review, those students, as well as some part-time students, were deemed ineligible for Title IV funds.
  • An additional amount based on need for full-time students with an expected family contribution (EFC) of $15,000.00 or less.
  • College employees and dependents who were taking classes were not considered for this grant.

7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE: All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates page. See specifically messages dated May 12 and June 25 from Barbara Hatcher, Vice President for Business and Finance.

June 25, 2020  3:44 p.m.

Message from President David Johns


We are preparing for a semester unlike any in the history of Ferrum College.  Life on campus will be different than it has been in the past, and each of us will need to do our part in making sure we stay safe and healthy, and that we have the greatest experience possible.

The Panther Nation is resilient and creative, and this will serve us well in the weeks ahead.

In preparation for the opening of campus for the 2020-21 academic year, we reached out to our students with a survey about their return to campus.  The survey indicated that students intend to return to campus in August for in-seat instruction with social distancing protocols in place.  Our Provost, Dr. Aimé Sposato, has assembled a team to create new opportunities for learning and with the potential for a prolonged period of social distancing required by state and federal agencies. Ferrum College must remain nimble for any eventualities this fall. With this in mind, our first day of Fall semester begins on Tuesday, August 25. The Fall and Spring semesters will be separated into two terms: Fall I and II and Spring I and II.

  • Term I classes begin on August 25 and end on Monday, October 5.  We have scheduled Reading Day for Tuesday, October 6 followed by two exam days, October 7-8.  Students will enjoy a break between the two terms from October 9 through October 11.
  • Term II classes begin on October 12 and end on Friday, November 20. The Reading Day is scheduled for Saturday, November 21, followed by two exams days, November 23-24.

By dividing each semester into two, 7-week terms and making each course a Hybrid course (50% face-to-face instruction), we are able to meet the needs of all of members of our community and remain as flexible as possible. Every one of our faculty will have completed intensive an Online Teaching Certification so they will be ready to provide a high-quality instruction both in the classroom and online.

To be full-time, a student must be registered for both terms and for a minimum of 12 credits and a maximum of 19 credits spread between the two 7-week terms.  Faculty are adjusting students’ schedules so everyone is registered for the appropriate courses.  With the Fall semester ending before Thanksgiving, students will be able to register for the 7-week online Winter Term if they wish to catch-up or push ahead. Spring Term classes begin on January 19.

We are committed to the health and safety of our community and are working carefully to adhere to all state and federal guidelines as we modify our classrooms, labs, common areas in the Library, and the Carter Center for Academic Success, performance spaces, and other high traffic areas for social distancing and sanitizing protocols.  We are also considering adding teleconferencing and live-streaming capabilities in more of our classrooms.

In the next several days, we will release our comprehensive return to campus plan that addresses everything from athletics, to housing, to social distancing, to quarantine, to campus move-in, to dining, and more.  We are following guidelines provided by the Governor’s office, the CDC, and the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia.

We have a task force in place that includes faculty and staff, Aladdin Dining, Tri-Area Community Health Center, Franklin County Public Safety, and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). This team is finalizing our plans for fall.

We are eager to welcome you to campus, whether you have been here for years, or whether you are new to the Panther family.  This is a community that takes care of one another, and I am confident that by working together, we will have a fabulous fall semester!

David L. Johns, Ph.D.


June 25, 2020  10:10 a.m.

Message from Vice President for Business and Finance Barbara Hatcher

Dear Students,

We continue to hope that you and your families are well and safe during this uncertain time.

This correspondence is an update to the letter dated May 12, 2020 regarding the disbursement of emergency grants for students as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds.  Disbursements for eligible full-time students occurred mid-May. Disbursements for part-time students were delayed until June 19, 2020 to allow further review of eligibility status. Upon further review, we determined that some part-time students, including dual enrolled students, were not eligible to receive grant funds. Because our original calculation for the amount each student would receive included these students, we have approximately $2,300.00 of funding available for a few additional small emergency grants.

If you previously received an emergency grant from the College and have had expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care) that exceed the amount that you received from the first disbursement, please send your request for additional funds along with supporting documentation to my attention at the address below. The deadline for submitting your request is August 1, 2020.

Ferrum College
PO Box 1000
Ferrum, VA  24088
Attn: Barbara Hatcher

The amount of each funding award will depend on the number of requests received by the deadline and the supporting documentation of each request. We will send an email to your Ferrum College email account by August 31, 2020, indicating the status of your request.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus in August!


Barbara Hatcher
Vice President for Business and Finance

June 11, 2020 1:27 p.m.

Update from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family!

COVID19 Updates:
Virginia Department of Health: 
Total Positive Cases: 52,647
Hospitalizations: 5,360
Deaths: 1520

*We may begin to see a bit of an increase this week from those who travelled and hung out Memorial Day Weekend*

USA (per CDC):

1,973,797 positive cases (probably will be over 2,000,000 by the end of the week)
112,133 deaths
Governor Northam:
  • As of Friday, all of VA will be in Phase Two! Guidelines can be reviewed here:
  • Most importantly:
    • still practice social distancing (6 ft from others unless exercising then they suggest 10 ft)
    • great hygiene practices (wash your hands a ton)
    • wear a mask if you are able and in a situation where social distancing is more challenging
    • if you are sick or showing any symptoms, stay home!
  • Ease of Testing
    • VDH has partnered with CVS to offer more testing sites throughout the Commonwealth.
    • Each site will have drive-thru testing and will use self-swab tests. There will also be no out-of-pocket costs for both insured and uninsured patients
    • You can find a list of all testing sites, and register for an appoint at
    • Our closest site to campus is: CVS Pharmacy, 970 Franklin Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151
On Campus:
  • We are going to use this as an opportunity to try some things out! YAY!
  • For students still on campus, faculty and staff the VDH worked with us to assist in developing the following guidelines for travel:
    • Travel is now permitted farther than Rocky Mount to anywhere that isn’t the two darkest blues on the Virginia Map or dark blue on the CDC USA map
    • If you travel to a dark blue Virginia County, or dark blue State (aside from VA)  AND/OR fly on an airline to anywhere – please plan to quarantine away from campus for 14 days before returning to the office and/or residence hall
    • Please try to avoid visiting anyone who is sick or experiencing COVID 19 symptoms or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID19
    • Outside of that travel is permitted though please be cautious and remember our Ferrum Community <3
    • This is not a perfect measure by any means (I am wishing and hoping VDH adds a “recovered category” to the maps soon so we know what counties are still very active but it will do for us for now). If you have questions, please feel free to reach out
  • We will ask that you wear masks anytime you are interacting with outside entities or people you don’t see often, for example in the mail room
  • We will not permit guests to the residence hall at this time
  • We are in the processing of scheduling some open hours for Swartz Gym and Norton Weight Room for non-contact sports and exercise. More information on that coming soon!

We have also established a COVID19 task force which will help us determine how to best safely reopen in the fall. This task force is chaired by myself and John Sutyak. We have split into 6 subcommittees which are looking at many areas across campus. I am thrilled to share that the Virginia Health Department and Tri Area are participating with us on those as well!

Hopefully I covered everything but if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Sending you all lots of love and light,

May 26, 2020 4:16 p.m.

Update from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family!


  • Positive Cases: 39,342
  • Franklin County: 34, 2 deaths
  • Phase 1 of Forward Virginia is in place in *most* counties and cities. See the guidelines here.
    • Retail establishment may operate at 50% capacity
    • Restaurant and beverage establishments may offer outdoor dining at 50% occupancy
    • Personal grooming services may operate with one patron per service provider
    • Fitness centers may offer outdoor exercise services
    • Campgrounds may begin taking reservations for short-term stays
    • Drive-in services may continue at places of worship, and services may be held inside at 50 percent capacity
    • Executive order 62 specifies places still in phase 0
  • Face Coverings Mandate
    • Mandatory to wear face covering anytime you are inside in a public place (i.e. stores, restaurants, public transportation)
    • Science proves face coverings drastically reduce the spread of virus
    • Exceptions
      • When eating or drinking in a restaurant
      • While exercising
      • If you have a health condition that keeps you from wearing a face covering
      • If you are under 10 years old, though children 2+ should wear face coverings when possible
    • Doesn’t need to be medical grade, can make your own or wear a bandana
    • Not a criminal matter but please respect one another and protect one another
    • If you, or your family, need assistance finding masks, please reach out to and we will assist you in finding some

USA (per CDC)

  • Total Cases: 1,662,414
  • Total Deaths: 98,261
  • At risk populations has been updated to include people with dementia
  • Information about how COVID19 spreads was updated last week
    • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person
    • The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggest that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.
    • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.
  • Prevention
    • Social Distancing (remain 6ft apart from people you do not live with)
    • Cloth face coverings (very helpful in prevention if social distancing is not possible)
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Cover coughs and sneezes
    • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (i.e. doorknobs, etc.)
    • Monitor your health and do not go out if you are sick

Virginia Department of Health

  • Virginians can now use COVIDCheck, a new online risk-assessment tool to check their symptoms and connect with the appropriate health care resource, including COVID-19 testing

Please let me know if you have any questions,

Stay safe!


May 14, 2020 4:32 p.m.

Update from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family!

There is a lot of fatigue in the country (and probably the world) around COVID-19 information (information overload?). This is totally normal. No matter what our feelings were at the time this all started, the whole incident and quick nature of this crisis probably caused all of us some level of trauma. If you are feeling fatigued following it all, you are not alone – I will continue to try to update you on the most relevant advances and information as I can without bombarding you daily.

This is also a great time to take some inventory of how you are feeling, and address those. Take a day if you need to or a few days to process and heal and see what your body and brain and heart needs right now. If you need help, want to talk, and/or want to be connected with a resource, please feel free to reach out!

Virginia Department of Health:

Center for Disease Control:
    • The CDC has released a number of forecasting models attempting to both plan for the future and determine the effect of decisions like wearing masks and social distancing.
    • This week they reshared the symptoms of COVID19 – reminding that anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. We are beginning to see some interesting symptoms in some cases so watching this site will help us see how what we should be looking for in ourselves and our loved ones
    • Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines were updated to include new advice for electronic devices, an updated EPA-registered disinfectant list, and updated core disinfection/cleaning guidance


      • For the students still on campus – our rules will not change right now (no guests, no travel outside of Rocky Mount, no gatherings, etc..). We will be in touch during phase two when we can ease restrictions a little more.
      • For our Faculty and Staff still working on campus, our rules remain the same – if you travel further than Roanoke, you should be self-isolating for 14 days before returning to campus. Please limit your contact with those outside your household as to prevent bringing new germs to campus at this time.

Food insecurity (Can also be utilized by faculty, staff, students, or loved ones- whoever needs it!):

      • Call 2-1-1 if you have any need that you are unsure how to fill at this time and are in Virginia.
      • Meals can be picked up in Franklin County as follows:
      • Monday, 1 – 2 p.m. – Ferrum Elementary School
      • Tuesday, 1 – 2 p.m. – Henry Elementary School
      • Wednesday, 1 – 2 p.m. – Glade Hill Elementary School
      • Thursday, 1 – 2 p.m. – Callaway Elementary School
      • Friday, 1 – 2 p.m. – Heavenly Manna Food Bank, Rocky Mount


May 12, 2020 2:32 p.m.

Update from Vice President for Business and Finance Barb Hatcher

Dear Students,

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, provides $2 trillion in broad-based economic relief in response to the COVID-19 national pandemic. The Act includes $14 billion for all sectors of higher education to provide direct assistance to institutions of higher education to respond to student and campus needs related to the crisis. Ferrum College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education on May 5, 2020. The Act directs that half of the funds received by Ferrum College must be used for emergency grants for students who are eligible for federal financial aid. Ferrum College received $836,808 to distribute as emergency grants for students.

Approximately 900 Ferrum College students were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Of the approximately 900 students eligible to participate, 865 students will receive the grant.

In determining the grant amount for each student, the College used the following formula:

        1. A flat amount of $500.00 for full-time students, $250.00 for part-time students, and $150.00 for dual enrolled students.
        2. An additional amount based on need for students with an expected family contribution (EFC) of $15,000.00 or less.

DOE requires that the student funds be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).

Once the College receives the funds from the DOE, we will work diligently to provide the grant to our students in the form of a check. We hope to complete these transactions within the next three weeks.

We hope this emergency grant provides some financial relief to our students and families. We encourage all our students to remain in contact with the College’s Office of Student Life to learn about additional support and resources available. Stay safe and well!


Barbara D. Hatcher
Vice President for Business and Finance

May 11, 2020 10:49 a.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Good morning Ferrum Family,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.

Virginia Health Department:

        • 25,070 positive confirmed cases in VA
        • Franklin County: 28 cases
        • Prevention Tips:
          • Stay at home (if you are able)
          • Practice social distancing
          • Wash your hands a lot
          • Wear a cloth face covering in public
          • Know the signs and symptoms
          • Avoid people who are sick
          • Prepare your home and family for COVID19
          • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces


        • 3 million cases (33% of the world’s COVID cases)
        • 78,771 deaths

Governor Northam:

        • On Friday Gov. Northam signed Executive Order 61 which outlines Phase one of reopening: Read PDF outlining the details here.
        • This will begin Friday May 15 if nothing drastic changes this week
        • Local government does have the authority to override these in areas that may be less safe to do so at this time


Please, let us know if we can do anything to help you and your family during this time.

Sending lots of love,

May 5, 2020 10:06 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family!

I hope this email finds you well and wrapping up all that end of the semester stuff! 

  • Positive confirmed cases: 20,256
  • Hospitalizations: 2,773, Deaths: 713
  • Franklin County: 23 positive confirmed cases
  • Remember testing is still limited through a lot of the commonwealth and results take days to return in most cases.


  • Not too much new advice coming out of the CDC but they did push a reminder to wear masks if going out in public to protect yourselves and those around you.
Governor Northam:
  • Executive Order 53 (restrictions on businesses and gatherings of more than 10 people) was extended until at least May 14.
  • They are closely monitoring to ensure that hospitalizations and positive cases are trending downward
  • The 3 part plan to ease restrictions was announced yesterday.
    • “Phase I of easing restrictions would continue social distancing, teleworking, recommendations that people wear face coverings in public, and the ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people. It would ease some limits on business and faith communities, and would transition the stay at home directive to a “safer at home” guideline, especially for those in vulnerable populations. It is expected that Phase I would last two to four weeks, as would the two subsequent phases, depending on health metrics.”
    • The “Stay at Home” order is in place until June 10 unless removed sooner.
It’s important to remember easing restrictions does not necessarily mean things are “safe”. It means if you are severely sick, they will have room for you in the hospitals. Please still be very cautious of protecting yourselves and those around you.
  • Please join us this weekend as we celebrate the class of 2020 at virtual commencement on May 9 at 10 a.m.! Visit here:
Please let us know if you have any questions,

May 2, 2020 10:54 a.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Happy weekend Ferrum Family!

I hope the wrapping up of the semester is going well. If you are like me, weekends weirdly don’t really feel all that weekend-y and you are spending a good part of your days asking “wait, what day is it?” 🙂 Brighter days are ahead!

VA Department of Health

        • Total cases: 16,901 (+2,562 in the last 4 days), 581 deaths (+89) The suggestion that the death toll is behind because of the areas that are overwhelmed was brought up. We should not be surprised if this number turns out to be an under-estimate that climbs as coroners and tests are able to catch up.
        • Franklin County: 21 cases
        • The VDH has a new map which a lot of interesting data on it which I encourage you to check out! Most interesting to me was that in addition to counts we can know see the rates per 1000 people which changes the map colors pretty significantly.

Center for Disease Control

        • Cases in the US: 1,062,446 (+30,787 from yesterday)
        • Deaths: 62,406
        • Improved their “Daily Life & Coping” Website to include how to protect yourself when running errands, living in close quarters, etc.

Campus Updates

        • Students have began returning slowly to pick up belongings. There are strict guidelines in place for how many students can be in a hall at once, who can come with them, etc… Sign up instructions were emailed out – if you need them please email
        • Jessica Stallard, LCSW and I are going to be hosting support groups for our students throughout the summer. We will be starting with our seniors. These groups are not mandatory but will offer students a space to talk through their feelings around this weird year and allow us to share some resources. We may create spin off groups based on the need that comes up in these. If you are a senior and interested in participating in the first one next week, please let me know.
        • Look for a lot of events coming to you from Ferrum College Student Activities throughout the summer. Justin has an incredible slate of virtual fun to keep us all connected to each other!

Please, let us know if we can do anything to help you and your family during this time. Thank you all for your neverending understanding, patience, and for looking out for out community.

Sending lots of love,

April 28, 2020 9:06 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family,

This is just a short introduction to a new resource available in Virginia thanks to the Virginia Department of Social Services and others. Hopefully other states will develop similar tools if they haven’t already!
  • Brand new COVID-19 Virginia Resources website (
  • COVID VA mobile app (available today for iOS users in the App Store – Android/Google Play forthcoming)
“Designed as a ‘one-stop’ resource for individuals, families and businesses to access benefits, services and critical information, the website and app aim to connect an essential need – whether food, child care, healthcare, housing, unemployment insurance, or more – with an immediate and actionable resource.”

This is a really great way for you, or someone you know to get easy answers to some of our biggest questions right now! Please share widely!

And your COVID19 numbers update for the day:

VA: 14,339 positive cases, 492 deaths

Franklin County: 20 cases, 3 hospitalizations

Roanoke City: 35 cases, 5 hospitalizations

Roanoke County: 41 cases, 1 hospitalization 

Stay at home if you are able, wear a face covering if you need to go out for essential tasks, and wash those hands! We are helping out our hospitals right now by slowing things down!

Hope this email finds you and your loved ones well. Let us know if you need anything! 


April 27, 2020 12:55 p.m.

Message from the Office of Student Life & Engagement


We appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation in these uncertain times. As you know we have been watching the news diligently and doing our best to keep our community safe. We hope that you and your loved ones are well. This message is for residential students who still have belongings in their residence hall room.

We are beginning to allow students to return to campus for their belongings a few students per residence hall at a time to limit exposure. Please note, students whose belongings are in Clark and Dyer will be invited to return after the semester and move out is complete. There are currently students living in those halls.

  • For those who are able to return, in order to protect you and our Franklin County community, please carefully follow the instructions below:
  • Only one other person is allowed to return to campus with you to help you retrieve items.
  • If possible, we are welcoming roommates to return together.
  • Please try to complete check out in about 90 minutes.
  • Limit contact with others on campus whenever possible
  • If interactions are necessary please make sure you are wearing a mask or face covering – with your nose and mouth covered.
  • Please avoid stopping anywhere in Franklin County if you are able.

Building Access at the time of your appointment:

  • Please call 540-365-4444 and let the officer know you have arrived to campus
  • Break locks have been put on buildings for additional security
  • If you use your ID to log into your hall, you will be given access for your time slot
  • If you use a hard key to get into your hall, you will need to ask Campus Police to let you into the building at your arrival time

Check out instructions:

  • Make sure your room is clean before you leave. Your room should be as clean, if not cleaner, than when you moved in. Please remove all trash and personal belongings from your assigned space.
  • All furniture that was in the room at the start of the year should still be in the room, and any damages should be communicated to the Area Coordinator for proper documentation and billing, i.e. holes in walls, broken or missing furniture, general damages, etc.
  • Additionally, students living in Bassett Hall should clean the suite bathroom. The shared bathrooms in apartments, Arthur, Moore, Clark, and Dyer should be cleaned before leaving as well.
  • Use the express checkout envelopes found in the building lobbies or at Campus Police to return keys – drop them off at the Campus Police Station as you are leaving. If you are not returning in the Fall, please also return your Panther ID and mailbox key.

If you have already moved out of your space but forgot to return you key(s), they can be mailed to:

Residence Life & Housing
Ferrum College
PO Box 1000
Ferrum, VA 24088

Any keys not returned will have replacements made and charged to the student’s account.

Please pay attention to the CDC travel guidelines and restrictions of your state or community. If it is unsafe or not allowed for you to travel at this time, we will keep your belongings in your room. Please choose what is safest for you and your loved ones. By no means is this a mandatory event at this time – we simply have had a lot of inquiries about returning for belongings and wish to accommodate those as safely as possible. We appreciate your flexibility and patience. If you have any questions, please contact

Thank you so much, stay safe, and keep washing your hands!

Student Life & Engagement

April 24, 2020 7:19 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family,
I hope this email finds you well and healthy and getting ready for finals! A few updates from the world:
  • Virginia Department of Health
    • 11,594 positive cases
    • 410 deaths
    • 19 cases in Franklin County
    • 39 in Roanoke County
    • 33 in Roanoke City
  • It is incredibly unsafe to ingest cleaners, disinfectant, and bleach. Please only use these things in the ways outlined on their labels. If you or someone you know has ingested any of these, please contact poison control immediately for help.
  • As always be careful of news sources and social media. Googling the thing you are curious about on the CDC’s website will often help clear up any misconceptions or rumors floating out there.
  • Governor Northam
    • I encourage you to watch his press conference from today as he unveils his plan to reopen Virginia – replay can be found on his facebook page. It is heavily based in research and very clear. I did my best to summarize below:
    • Virginians are doing the right thing and we are seeing results
    • Daily case numbers are still rising but growth rate is slowing
      • They are no longer doubling every 3 days.
      • Taking 9 days to double.
      • Hospitalization rates are remaining flat.
    • Must keep doing what we are doing and begin planning for next phase
      • Positive tests and Hospitalizations must trend down for 14 days
      • Enough hospital beds and intensive care capacity
      • Increase and sustain supply of Personal Protective Equipment
      • Next step: Increase testing & tracing
    • Once we see all that we can move to phase one of reopening
    • Cover your face in public and stay 6 weeks away from others to protect yourself and others.
    • As soon as we can put health crisis behind us, we can get our economic crisis under control
Campus Updates:
  • Trivia is taking a break this week for exams but we will host virtual events through the summer so look for updates from Justin Muse! If you have ideas for virtual events you want to see, let him know! We’ve been having so much fun with you all!
  • Information for students who wish to return for belongings will come out next week. We will be completing this by appointment only as the locks on the residence halls have been turned to break mode to offer another layer of protection for the belongings left in rooms.
  • VA College Presidents released a really nice video for students of the Commonwealth. You will see a familiar face at 1:10 🙂

We miss you all so much! Wash your hands!


April 14, 2020 8:12 a.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Good morning Ferrum Family!
I hope this email finds you and your loved ones healthy and well.
  • VDH
    • The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 5,747 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 149 deaths and 903 hospitalizations throughout the state Monday.
      • 14 in Franklin County
      • 8 in Henry County
      • 21 in Roanoke
    • The map was down this morning but check it later today for today’s numbers if you are interested.
      • Noted that the sharp increase in cases is likely a result of an increase in testing
Governor Northam
  • Officials are using a new model from UVA specifically focused on the Commonwealth to plan
  • WSHV Reported:
    • The new UVA model shows that social distancing measures are working to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Northam said, and also show that Virginia hospitals have sufficient capacity to handle the expected surge in patients.
    • However, the model also shows that if the Stay at Home order and other restrictions are lifted too soon, cases across Virginia would surge and threaten the available capacity at medical facilities.
    • Specifically, the models suggest another wave of illness in mid-July or August if we don’t slowly ease back into normal life.
    • [Governor Northam] reiterated that modeling data shows that the key is for “us to keep doing what we’re doing” and stopping any time soon would put Virginians in danger.
  • The Governor reiterated the importance of staying home except for essential services if we want to end this soon.
  • All of the Governor’s orders can be viewed here:
  • We are at the normal time in the semester when we all get a little tired, and this year… well wow. Take care of yourself. Ask for help if you need it. These are not normal times and we are here for you if you want to process or just want to talk with someone outside of the walls where you are staying!
A special thank you to our students still on campus who moved over the last week. I hope it has been helpful to hear your classmates around you. We have hired five RAs for the foreseeable future: Natasha Shelton, Morgan Hancock, Gerald Bonsu, Kintwon Pettiford, and Morgan Earp so find one of them if you need anything!

Sending lots of love!


April 9, 2020 2:27 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family, 

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well! I wanted to reach out with a few updates and clarifications.

COVID19 (these numbers are cumulative and include those who have been released from quarantine): 

        • 4,042 known positive cases of COVID19 in Virginia
        • 109 deaths
        • 13 known positive cases in Franklin County


Governor Northam Press Conference yesterday:

        • Governor Northam had a press conference yesterday. One of the important things to come out of it is that it appears there is a racial discrepancy in how COVID19 is impacting people of color. The governor has ordered the health department to begin collecting racial and ethnic information with COVID19 tests so this can be studied closer. 
        • He moved back two upcoming elections
        • There have been record numbers applying for unemployment and it is overloading the system – keep trying. They are hiring additional staff to help with the volume.


        • We are not allowing students to come back to get belongings at this time in order to comply with Governor Northam’s stay at home orders. We will be in touch as soon as he allows for leisurely travel again.
          • I know some other colleges are moving ahead with their plans but we do not have the same values/motives as other places. Our only consideration is doing everything we can to keep you, your families, and our Ferrum community members safe.
          • We have been assisting if there are urgent needs in your room or incredibly special circumstances. We’ve mailed some items to students or have been able to help in other ways. Please contact with any questions.
        • Students – Tonight there is a virtual presentation by speaker and comedian James Robilotta – he talked with our incoming students and RAs last year and he is great! Check out Justin’s email for login information and we hope to see you there!

Sending lots of love to you all! I hope you know how much you are missed!

Wash your hands!!


April 6, 2020 3:24 p.m.

Message from Dean of Student Nicole Lenez

Good Afternoon Ferrum Family,

There is not too much new news today on the COVID-19 front – the Virginia Department of Health is reporting 2,878 cases in Virginia and 54 deaths along with 11 cases in Franklin County. Remember these numbers are cumulative and I am happy to report 2 of our 11 cases in the county are recovered and have been released from quarantine.
I also wanted to make you all aware of a broadcast this evening. Those not in the region can watch online with the channels streaming options. Please see information below:
In a historic first, health care and broadcast entities across western Virginia are teaming up under a shared goal: flattening the COVID-19 curve.
  • Consolidation is happening this week! Once we are finished, access to the other buildings on campus will be shut off to secure the rooms and belongings that are left in there.
  • We will be sending out information about housing sign ups for next year in the next few weeks. We wanted to be able to devote our attention to what is going on right now but know students are very excited! We will be in touch soon!
Stay healthy everyone!

April 4, 2020 4:03 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Happy Saturday Ferrum Family,

I hope this email finds you well and healthy! A few updates today:


        • 2,407 known positive cases
        • 52 deaths
        • 10 known positive cases in Franklin County
          • Franklin County press release: Public Advisory: Sustained Community Spread
          • Franklin County Parks and Rec released the following yesterday:
            • If you plan on visiting a park this weekend or anytime soon, we ask that you do the following:
            • Only come by yourself or with the people you live with. No meet-ups or play-dates.
            • Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
            • Avoid crowded areas. If the park you are visiting is busy either come back at a different time or visit another park
            • Bathrooms, playgrounds, and shelters are closed so please plan accordingly.
            • Your cooperation is needed so that we can continue to keep our parks open and safe.
        • The CDC is recommending face covers when you are out in public and provides guidelines for how to make and clean them on their website.
          • Though there is no evidence that a mask helps prevent us from catching the virus, it does help prevent us – especially with a virus where we may be carriers without symptoms – from spreading it further.
          • It also serves as a visual reminder that things are not normal right now, and some of the things we do without thinking (slowly shopping in the stores, hugging, shaking hands, etc…) are not okay right now.
          • The US Surgeon General also teaches us some techniques in this YouTube video
        • Food Availability in Franklin County
          • Feeding America tractor trailer will be in county on Tuesday April 7 from 1-3 to give out emergency food boxes at Franklin County High School – anyone who needs is welcome – no requirements
          • Rocky Mount Church of God 11:45-1:00 – 7 days a week in parking lot – bagged lunches – anyone who needs is welcome – no requirements
          • For other locations in Virginia text “FOOD” to 2-1-1

Please let me know if there are additional questions or concerns I can help find answers to!

Stay healthy!

April 3, 2020 3:53 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Good afternoon Ferrum Family,

I hope wherever you are the weather is as beautiful as it is here today. I have some updates!
COVID19/VA Dept of Health
  • 2012 cases in Virginia
  • 46 deaths
  • 10 positive known cases in Franklin County
    • 9 in quarantine at home and doing well
    • 1 released from quarantine
  • VDH hopes to be able to release “recovered” numbers soon so we know how many truly active cases are in different areas of the state. The current count is a cumulative total and includes those who have recovered.
  • Yesterday the President of the United States declared a “major emergency” – not much has changed but this allows FEMA to release some additional support for localities.
What does this mean?
  • Community transmission is here in Southwest VA – we need to be strict with our social distancing and following Governor Northam’s guidance.
  • The best advice I saw was to act like you have it and don’t want to give it to others. Limit time out and about and with others.
  • There are some major faith based holidays coming up beginning with Easter and Passover – please be careful and look to different ways to celebrate your faith that limit contact with others. The governor and his pastor spoke to this at his 2:00 press conference today if you are interested in some ideas.
Please wash your hands and take care of yourselves! Let us know if you need anything or have any questions!
Sending lots of love,

April 2, 2020 8:48 p.m.

Message From Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family,

There hasn’t been much change in information we know, or with our campus procedures since Wednesday  but the numbers have changed including another reported case in Franklin County and some new resources from the CDC that I wanted to share.

        • Virginia
          • 1706 cases
          • 246 hospitalizations
          • 41 deaths
          • Franklin County – 6 confirmed cases
        • The CDC has expanded their website to include a section on Daily Life & Coping which has valuable tips and information.
        • The CDC also reminds us to call and text loved ones frequently during this, especially if they are older, live alone, etc.
I’ve been updating the fun things to do list on our Ferrum College COVID19 page, including one of our very own! You can also tour the BRI virtually! Check it out!

Stay safe and wash your hands,


April 2, 2020 2:46 p.m.

Message from Jessica Stallard, Ferrum College Counselor

Hello, Panthers!

Many of you may be finding this to be a stressful time due to changes in routine, coursework, and social opportunities. Remember, you are not alone–we are here to help. This is not an ordinary situation so our typical ways of coping may be tested. If you are having a difficult time, and would like to talk, Ferrum College Student Counseling Center is available to provide support as well as referral information if needed; just send an email to Jessica Stallard, LCSW at to get started. In addition, we have put together a list of resources with information on managing stress during a pandemic.

Self-care is important anytime but even more during times of increased stress. There are many tips and suggestions online. Here are some resources that address areas of self-care to get you started


Eating Right


Stress Management

The Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers has a Covid-19 web section that is full of additional resources:

I cannot stress enough that you are not alone during this time–your Panther community has your back. Make the most of the social opportunities being offered through the Office of Student Life and Engagement.

Be safe and well!
Jessica R. Stallard, LCSW

March 31, 2020 9:54 a.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Good morning Ferrum Family,

I hope you and your families are staying well!
Governor Northam:
  • Yesterday Gov. Northam delivered a “Stay At Home” order for Virginia which orders us to remain in our place of residence unless going out for food, supplies, medical care, or if you have essential tasks at work/are emergency personnel.
  • He was very clear that we should not go out unless you need to go out (and that we should know the difference between need and want)
  • There were constant reminders to wash our hands!
  • Over half of VA’s cases are under 50 years old.
  • Throughout VA the food banks are open to all who have a need, regardless of income level. Please text 2-1-1 to find services near you.
  • In order to comply with Governor Northam’s request, and to protect our students, their loved ones, and our greater Ferrum Community, we are suspending the ability to come back and retrieve belongings at this time. We will resume when the governor releases us for leisurely travel. If you have questions, please email
  • Faculty and staff are still working hard to bring students services electronically
    • Our first trivia night for students is tonight!! Look for Justin’s email on how to participate. Win prizes!
  • We will begin working on consolidation this week. Those still on campus, please watch your email for instructions!
  • Housing sign ups for next year are on hold until things settle down a bit! We will be in touch soon with more information.

Staying in doesn’t have to be bad! – I’ve started a collection of fun free things that you can do at home! Check out my list here and let me know if you learn of others! I also just learned about the app HouseParty where you can play 4 different games with your friends (trivia, pictionary, apples to apples, and ellen’s headsup)! It’s a fun distraction so check it out.

Stay healthy, safe and at home! Wash your hands!!!

Sending lots of love and missing seeing your faces,


March 30, 2020 3:28 p.m.

Message From Director of Career Services Leslie Holden

Ferrum Students,

I hope this email finds you doing well. Campus is not the same without you.

The Career Services Office is here to provide assistance for all Ferrum students and alumni!

I am available to meet with students through email, phone, or video-based conferencing. Email me at for assistance or to set up a time to “meet.”

Career services and resources available:

  • Resume, cover letter and interviewing resources are available on our website: under the “Employment Search” tab.
  • Resume Reviews – please email your resume if you would like it reviewed. I can either make suggestions via email or set up a phone meeting.
  • Mock Interviews – using Zoom
  • Job/internship search strategy assistance.
  • Career/Major exploration? Take the Focus 2 – a self-paced, online career and education planning tool. Click on the “Career Planning” link at to find the Focus 2 link as well at other career exploration links.
  • Check your email – as I receive job/internship postings, I will share with the campus.
  • Anything else that comes up – just contact me. I will get you to the resources you need.

I am sharing a handout from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) entitled Advice for College Students: How to Maximize Your Career Development During Covid-19. I hope you find this advice helpful!

These are challenging times, but together we can persist and be successful.

Leslie Holden

Director of Career Services

March 29, 2020 2:07 p.m.

Message From Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Ferrum Family,

I hope you and your loved ones are well.


  • The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and CDC are reporting 5 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Franklin County
  • VDH is reporting 890 total confirmed cases in Virginia, and 22 deaths
  • As we know, some can carry this virus without showing symptoms so it is essential we stay at home and only go out if it’s necessary.
  • There are quite a few hoaxes floating around on social media – don’t forget to use reliable sources – I will google whatever I see and CDC to see if it’s real! CDC and Department of Health for your state are going to be the best and most thoroughly vetted!
    • The FDA announced that there is no evidence to support the use of ibuprofen would make symptoms of COVID-19 worse but did say use of this and other fever reducers could mask some symptoms and make diagnosing a little more challenging.

On campus:

  • We know with the President’s information that came out Friday many of you are travelling home. Please travel safely and keep in touch with us. If you have left campus, don’t forget to email
  • Consolidation – I have received many questions about consolidation and here is some additional information:
    • We know there is a risk associated with bringing students closer together but this risk is low at this time.
    • We need to consolidate for a number of reasons:
      • In the event this virus spreads rapidly in our community, we will need to be able to quickly and effectively get food and medical care to students
      • We will be able to move resources to you all in the event they are needed (computers, food, supplies, etc..)
      • We will be able to better sanitize the common and shared areas
      • This will help with safety as we will be able to provide staff to live in the hall
      • This will help ensure people are adhering to the travel and gathering restrictions put in place by the governor
      • This will help the continuity of operations should some of our staff get ill or need to be at home to are for a loved one
      • On Friday, I shared sobering statistics about the lack of hospital beds in our state. There is also a need for housing for first responders and hospital workers who cannot go home to their families after being exposed to the virus. Should the worst happen, we may turn over one or many buildings to Franklin County Public Safety, the Naval Corps of Engineers, the Health Department, and/or others to help best serve our community with needs such as these. For hopefully obvious reasons, we cannot and will not do this with students in the halls. Not self, but others.
        • For this reason, we will also SLOWLY be inviting limited students at a time to return for their belongings if they are able. This will be dictated by building need and with a cautious eye on the news.
        • If you return for belongings we ask that you have limited contact with others who remain on campus, and in our Franklin County Community.
        • Please do not come until you are contacted and sign up for an appointment.
      • Consolidation will begin this week – please wait for specific instructions from Student Life staff.
      • Students currently living in Special & Family Housing, Village East, Village West, and Hillcrest will not need to move at this time.


  • The Office of Student Life and Engagement is available by Zoom meeting, Phone, or Email during this time to talk.
  • Our College Counselor, Jessica Stallard is still available and taking appointments. She can be reached at also provided the following PDFs about coping in disasters and/or shelter in place for us.
  • This can be an incredibly stressful time for all of us and our families and we must do what we need to take care of ourselves!
  • It’s important to stay connected during this time. We will continue adding to the resource section of the website but…. My friend group recently introduced me to the House Party app. This app lets you video chat with friends on your phone and you can play one of four games with them! Trivia, Chips & Guac (which is like Apples to Apples), Ellen’s HeadsUp, and a pictionary type game!

Finally, thank you to all of you. The Ferrum Family has really stepped up to take care of each other and us and I cannot thank you enough. More information coming soon!

Lots of love! Wash your hands!!


March 27, 2020 3:57 p.m.

Message from President David Johns

Dear Campus Community:

In light of the College’s recent decision to conduct remote teaching for the remainder of the semester, I am writing with an update concerning student Room & Board.

As mentioned in my previous communication to the College, we have permitted students to remain on campus for the duration of the Spring semester assuming they follow the College’s social distancing and travel guidelines.  Aladdin, our food service partner, will continue to provide grab and go meals for these students.

For students who have left but still have belongings on campus, please do not return at this time.  Your belongings will remain secure in your rooms.  We will provide regular updates and let you know when it is safe for you to return for your belongings.

Additionally, while it is College policy to not provide credit for Room & Board following the third week of the semester, we realize that this public health crisis has had an emotional and economic toll on many of our students and their families.

As such, the College will be implementing the following policy for Room & Board to residential students:

  • Graduating residential seniors:  A credit will be applied to any outstanding balance on the student’s account, and the remainder will be mailed to the student via check.
  • All other residential students:  A credit will be applied to any outstanding balance on the student’s account, and the remainder will be credited to Room & Board for next academic year.

How much will this credit be?  The College will provide a prorated credit calculated from the date the College announced it would continue virtual teaching to the last day of the Spring semester (March 24 – May 4), or 42 days for a total of $1,000.

Who will receive this credit?  All residential students who have left campus AND who have informed the Office of Student Life will be eligible to receive the credit.  Students currently on campus must email  and leave campus no later than Sunday, March 29 in order to receive this credit.  Those who are approved to remain on campus, and those who did not contact the Office of Student Life prior to leaving, will not be eligible for the credit.

How will I receive this credit?  Unless you are a graduating senior, you will receive this credit to your student account.

During these turbulent times, when there are questions yet to be answered, it’s important to stand together on those values that make us strong:  friendship, compassion, respect, care for each other.  Our motto, which we all know so well – “Not Self, But Others” – is more important today than ever.  As we work together for the health and safety of our communities, it’s important to take care of ourselves as well.  Ferrum Means Iron, and iron is tough and strong, but that doesn’t mean we can do it alone.  This community is for you and we are for each other.  Be strong, be safe, be well.

David L. Johns, Ph.D.

March 26, 2020 9:41 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hello Ferrum Family,

I hope you are doing well, and that you and your families are staying healthy and that the transition to online has been smooth! I have some updates for you:
  • USA
    • Total cases: 68,440
    • Total deaths: 994
    • Jurisdictions reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)
  • VA – 460 known cases
    • 9 deaths
    • 15.9% of them are aged 20-29 (more than any other age group)
    • VA’s population is an estimated 8.5 million people
      • in the entire Commonwealth there are approximately 18,000 hospital beds
      • today: 16,000 of those beds are occupied
      • It is estimated to keep up with COVID-19 we will need 50,000 hospital beds
    • Following the CDC/governors recommendations is going to be IMPERATIVE to save lives:
      • Wash your hands
      • Stay home!! – only go out for necessary travel
      • Social distance – keep at least 6 feet apart from others if you have to go out
      • Sanitize commonly touched things – doorknobs, cell phones, etc…
  • On Campus
    • Student Life & Engagements is available – email or call 540-365-4461 to reach us! We can also zoom!
    • If you are staying on campus, please fill out the form here:
    • In an effort to assist the Commonwealth of Virginia, Franklin County, and the Virginia Health Department with any of their needs and provide the best resources and care for our students, we will begin consolidation and also allowing certain buildings to return to get their belongings.
      • Students will receive individual instructions on consolidation and move out from SL&E staff beginning tomorrow.
      • Please do not return to campus unless you are invited to do so.

I hope you are all well! Wash those hands!!


March 25, 2020 9:50 p.m.

Message From Dr. Sandra Via, Office of the Provost

Dear Students,

I hope all of you and your families are well!  As you all know, all courses will continue to be taught online for the remainder of the semester.  I know this has been a stressful transition for you and your families.  However, please know that we are here to assist you!  You are part of the Ferrum Family and our current circumstances does not change our commitment to you and your educational success.

Many of you are not overly familiar with Brightspace.  Maybe you have submitted a paper to a dropbox or downloaded a reading, but that may have been the extent of your interaction with Brightspace.  To help you familiarize yourself with Brightspace, you can go to the Student Brightpace YouTube page for a number of tutorials.  You can access this page at:

You can also setup notifications in Brightspace to be reminded of upcoming due dates for various assignments.  Here is a link to the video tutorial for setting up notifications:

As the semester continues, please keep the following in mind:

  1. Reach out to your professors if you are struggling with course content or assignments.
  2. If you have connectivity issues, contact your professors.  You can also check out the list of connectivity and communications resources that may be available in your area at:
  3. Login to Brightspace everyday!
  4. Check your email everyday!
  5. Make a schedule to complete your assignments.
  6. Set up notifications in Brightspace.
  7. Set alarms or reminders on your phone for assignment due dates.

Again, we are here to help.  Be proactive, ask questions if you are struggling, and stay connected to your courses, professors, and classmates through Brightspace.


Sandra Via
Director of the School of Graduate and Online Education Studies

March 24, 2020 2:39 p.m.

A Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez


  • 254 known positive cases in Virginia, with 6 known deaths.
  • As of 3/23/2020 there are seven (7) known cases of COVID 19 in Southwest Virginia.
  • There is currently one (1) case in Franklin County

New Information:

Governor Northam had a press conference at 2pm yesterday

  • “We are in this for months not weeks.”
  • K-12 schools in virginia to remain closed until at least the end of this academic year
  • Additional restrictions on businesses
  • Entertainment, social, and non-essential businesses to close
  • Restaurants can do take out, curbside pick up, or delivery only
  • Essential businesses (grocery, pharmacy, medical facilities, etc.) can stay open – must practice social distancing and must sanitize regularly
  • Gatherings of more than 10 people banned or at least 30 days
  • These restrictions will continue to change
  • Families or individuals that aren’t sure where to get food can text “Food” to 877-877 to find food assistance closest to you
  • “The next few months will be difficult – everyone will have to change the way we live… Put aside what we want and focus on what we need… Everyone will have to sacrifice and everyone will have to live differently.”

Campus updates:

  • Swartz Gym, weight room, and pool are closed until further notice
  • President Johns announced distance learning until end of semester
  • If you are currently still on campus and would like to leave:
    • Please email so we can update our lists in the event of an emergency
    • You are able to have one parent or family member come to assist with moving out – they must have very limited contact with other students
    • Please take all belongings if you are able
    • Place key in express checkout envelopes (located in the lobbies)
    • Bring key in envelope to Campus PD – if not there you can place in their mailbox (extra envelopes will be available  at the station)
  • Can I stay?
    • Yes! We will not close campus to those who need to stay
    • You must fill out this updated form
  • If you stay:
    • Same rules apply – social distancing, follow campus policies, etc.
    • Consolidation will happen the first weekend of April. I had some impassioned arguments against consolidation but, at this point, it can not be avoided. We will do our best to take individual’s needs into account but we do need to centralize our services.
  • Can I come get my stuff?
    • At this time, we ask that you DO NOT return to campus to get your belongings. We will keep them in your rooms.
    • We will continue to send regular updates and will make arrangements for you to come and get your belongings when we can do so.

Stay healthy! Wash those hands!

Lots of love,

March 24, 2020 2:33 p.m.

Message from President David L. Johns, Ph.D.

Dear Ferrum College Community:

I would like to update you on where we stand in our response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

As you may know, Governor Northam issued an Executive Order yesterday that closed all K-12 schools in the Commonwealth for the remainder of the school year. This order also requires the closure of certain non-essential businesses and it bans all gatherings of more than 10 people. In addition, Franklin County Public Safety is recommending that businesses in the county delay all events until after June 1.

Thus, we will continue to teach all courses online for the remainder of the spring semester and we will also postpone our spring commencement. In light of these local and statewide announcements, it is prudent for us to take these steps so students and families can plan accordingly.

Students who are presently living on campus and wish to continue doing so, should contact the Office of Student Life and Engagement. Aladdin, our food service partner, will continue to provide grab and go meals for these students.

As far as commencement is concerned: we will host a Virtual Commencement on May 9 at 10:00 a.m., in addition to a face to face ceremony likely in the fall, depending on circumstances. You will receive more information soon concerning these events, how to register for them, and how to receive your diplomas.

Rest assured, we fully intend to recognize and celebrate the remarkable achievements of this class, a class that will be talked about for generations–the Ferrum College class of 2020.

For those of you who are not graduating: this is advising week, so please be in touch with your advisor and be prepared to register next week.

For all official College updates and announcements, please see:

As we all know, Ferrum College is a community that does life together, which is why it is so hard to be apart during this time. There is nothing I want more than for us all to be gathered again, here on campus, embracing each other and celebrating together as one Panther Nation.

These are unprecedented times and we are all making adjustments and sacrifices for our own health and safety as well as that of others. We are all in this together, and we are all here for each other.

Never forget that Ferrum Means Iron, and during these times we have an opportunity to show the world what we are made of.


David L. Johns, Ph.D.

March 22, 2020 7:36 p.m.

Message from Academic Counselor Tyler Brubaker ’13

Dear Ferrum College Community,

I hope everyone is doing well and that you and your families are staying healthy during this time. Now that we have transitioned to an online platform, I want to inform you of the PAL tutoring schedule. All tutoring will take place virtually. You need to email the tutor to schedule an appointment (even if it is during their available times) so that they can expect and prepare to work with you. Below is the list of tutors who have agreed to work during this time. Here you will find the tutor’s name and contact information, the course and professor that they work with, as well as days and times that they are available for tutoring:

SectionProfessorTutor NameEmailAvailability
BIO 110Ghioca-RobrechtMikayla Morenommoreno@ferrum.eduM 2-4 pm; T Anytime after 12 pm
BIO 255GoffAlexzondra Mattsonamattson@ferrum.eduM, T, W, Th 5-10 pm
BIO 255GoffKyndra Powellkpowell@ferrum.eduSchedule appointment
BIO 255GoffNatasha Sheltonnshelton@ferrum.eduAnytime - schedule appointment
BIO 413BrubakerCayla Stephensckstephens@ferrum.eduSchedule appointment
CHM 103/104ALL FacultyTaylor Darnelltdarnell@ferrum.eduT/Th 4-5:30 pm
CHM 103/104/105ALL FacultyCaitlin Hodgescphodges@ferrum.eduWill update class weekly - schedule appointment
CHM 301/302GrochowskiCaitlin Hodgescphodges@ferrum.eduWill update class weekly - schedule appointment
CHM 302GrochowskiAlexzondra Mattsonamattson@ferrum.eduM, T, W, Th 5-10 pm
CHM 315SmelkovaCaitlin Hodgescphodges@ferrum.eduWill update class weekly - schedule appointment
ENG 102WhitedAmber Scottagscott2@ferrum.eduAnytime - schedule appointment
HIS 102DanielsNia Pettifordnpettiford@ferrum.eduT/Th 12-2 pm
MTH 208BowmanCaitlin Hodgescphodges@ferrum.eduWill update class weekly - schedule appointment
PSY 201St. PetersCassidy Burkecgburke@ferrum.eduT/Th 7:30-9 pm
REL 111Vanden EckelJamie Gilbertjmgilbert@ferrum.eduT 12:30-1:30 pm
REL 111HowellLexi Davidsonadavidson@ferrum.eduW 1-2 pm
REL 151WildsJamie Gilbertjmgilbert@ferrum.eduM 1:30-2:30 pm
SOC 202WimmerMolly Pattersonmepatterson@ferrum.eduT/Th 7:30-8:30 pm
THA 206Blankenship-TuckerJamie Gilbertjmgilbert@ferrum.eduW 1:30-2:30 pm

Again, please schedule an appointment with the tutor so that they can expect to work with you. This is important because if they do not hear from you in advance, they may no longer be available during the listed day and time. Please contact the Academic Resources Center at if you have any further questions. Thank you and good luck with your online studies!

Have a great day,

Tyler Brubaker ’13

Academic Counselor

March 22, 2020 3:34 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Good afternoon Ferrum Family,

I hope you are taking some time to get out and enjoy the weather if you are able. I wanted to give you just a few updates and reminders today.

      • The CDC has added people with asthma to the list of people at a higher rate for severe illness from COVID-19. Previous high risk factors included age, pregnancy, and those with diseases such as diabetes, COPD, HIV, or cancer.
      • COVID-19 can affect your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs), cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease
      • CDC also released some great tips for coping with stress and anxiety during COVID-19 that you can see here. Remember to take care of yourself and reach out if you need to!
        • Our college counselor, Jessica Stallard, is still seeing clients by phone! Reach out to for an appointment.
      • The CDC released a symptom self-checker to see if you should reach out for additional care if you are feeling ill.
      • Cases
        • VA – 219, 3 deaths
        • At least 1 confirmed case in Franklin County (3 more tests given in last 24 hours)
          • On campus students may still travel to Rocky Mount at this time (wash your hands a lot!)
      • Social Distancing
        • Limit time out of house – only for essentials
          • Remain farther from people if you are out (recommendation is 6 feet)
          • Wash hands often
          • Try not to touch your face
        • Avoid seeing people you haven’t been around recently
      • What if we don’t?
        • Health department in Ohio just released a “Stay-at-Home” order which would severely limit what we could do and what businesses could stay open.
        • The more we follow the rules of social distancing now, the less likely we’ll need to do it for a really long time!

A silver lining of all this is that some really amazing things are free right now to keep you entertained, educated, and experiencing culture! Virtual museum, zoo, and aquarium tours, broadway shows, concerts, astronauts reading books in space, etc… I’ve started making a list which you can find at our Coronavirus website.

Stay healthy! Wash those hands!

Lots of love,

March 22, 2020 10:40 a.m.

Message from Dean of the Chapel Rev. Dr. Jan C. Nicholson Angle

Good Sunday Morning Ferrum College!

I invite you to check out our Spiritual Life YouTube Sunday worship video.  It should post around 11:30 am this morning.  Go ahead and subscribe to our Ferrum College Spiritual Life YouTube channel to catch our daily videos.

Blessed Sunday,

Rev. Dr. Jan C. Nicholson Angle
Dean of the Chapel

March 20, 2020 10:25 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Good evening Ferrum Family

I hope your first week of distance learning was as exciting as it was for our team. Learning new skills this quickly really challenges our brains in new ways! I just had a very entertaining Zoom game night with my friends (check out “Codename”.. we were also able to play trivia with a trivia master!)

We are heartbroken to hear about the cancellation of the ODAC season and suspension of internships. If you need any support please reach out.

We have new confirmed cases in Roanoke and Rocky Mount. Our campus rules won’t change, but please be extra vigilant if you are out in the community – hand sanitizer, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay a safe distance from other people. If you start to feel sick, stay home and let us know so we can help you with food and plans and medical attention if necessary. They say this virus starts with a sore throat, and the typical symptoms to follow are coughing, fever, and shortness of breath.

If any of today’s announcements change your plans for staying on campus, please don’t forget to let us know at

To reach the Student Life and Engagement team in this time of social distancing, you can reach us:

      • on zoom
      • by phone (540-36-4461 or 540-365-4451)
      • by email

We’ve started collecting some fun free things that are being offered so we can still get high quality entertainment so you can check that out here. Justin also has a few things up his sleeve, coming soon.

Stay well and stay safe!

March 20, 2020 12:15 p.m.

Updated March 22, 2020 10:31 a.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Fun Free Things!


Staying connected:

Marco Polo is a free app where you can send short videos to your friends and see their faces while you’re communicating. It’s a mix of FaceTime and text! You don’t have to be watching it when they are recording, you can catch up later and respond anytime!

March 19, 2020 6:37 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Panther Students,
This email has multiple parts! Please read all the way to the end!

Real talk:

It’s not okay to not follow the rules laid out and stay in our community right now. My team works with students – we give second chances when we are able, we try to educate, and we understand needing to learn from mistakes but the things some of you are considering doing right now and/or have been doing put my team, your hallmates, our housekeeping and maintenance staff, our dining staff, and ALL of their family and loved ones in danger. IT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

So once again, here are the rules for those of you staying on campus right now. Violation of ANY policy will result in you not being allowed to stay on campus:

  • All group gatherings and events are prohibited
  • There are no guests permitted on campus –  no exceptions
  • You may only travel locally (Rocky Mount)
  • If you are caught violating any campus policy or those outlined above, you will be required to leave campus immediately

If you indicate that you are staying on campus but decide to leave at any point during the Distance Learning Plan, please email

If you decide(d) to leave campus:

  • You will need to stay off campus until you receive official notification that the campus will fully open (no exceptions)
  • You will need to pack all medications, clothing, and valuables – you will not be permitted to return to get any forgotten belongings
  • Don’t forget to pack your textbooks, notebooks, computers, etc. as classes will be fully in session via the online format

Check email every day to receive updates and instructions from your professors and student life staff

So many of you have been so amazing. You’ve been diligent and flexible, and it has not gone unnoticed. You are protecting yourselves and your families and our Ferrum family. Thank you. Please continue to report any activity that compromises the health and safety of our community.

Coronavirus update:

  • Numbers increase daily – here is the Virginia MapWDBJ7 has reported a confirmed case in Roanoke, though that has not been reflected on the health department’s map yet.
  • A new study from the CDC of US COVID19 hospitalizations shows 38% were 55 or younger and 20% were aged 20-44 – There are reports that are similar from France and the Netherlands but I have not looked into these studies myself yet to verify.
  • All the sources are still saying prevention is best!!
  • Clean your hands often and avoid touching your face
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Social distance – try to keep 6 feet between you and others whenever possible
  • Cover all coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces (especially those touched often)
  • As always, get your information from reputable sources!

Opportunity for aid:

“In response to the millions of students financially affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, SAGE Scholars has decided to pledge $100,000 in aid. These funds will be awarded as hard dollar scholarships, given directly to students in need at Ferrum College. Any student regardless of whether or not they are in the SAGE network is eligible to apply.

Any student attending Ferrum College can apply for up to $250 in emergency funds. All we need from a student is a completed form, which can be sent to The form is also available on our company’s website.”

Student Life & Engagement (because social distancing doesn’t have to be boring!):

We are planning some incredible virtual student activities, shows, and speakers coming to a computer or phone near you very soon! <3 There are also a ton of places releasing amazing art and literature right now for no charge – I will be collecting some of those resources to add to our coronavirus website as well.

If you need to get in touch with the Student Life and Engagement team we are available by email, zoom, and phone!

I love you all, stay healthy!

March 19, 2020 8:51 a.m.

Message from Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs Aimé Sposato

Dear Students:

Greetings from the Office of the Provost!  You are receiving this email because you are currently enrolled in an ETerm course.

Since we have moved to a Distance Learning Plan and all international travel has been suspended at Ferrum College for an unknown period of time, we have made the decision to suspend all international and domestic travel and all seated courses for ETerm.

What does this mean?

Faculty have been working hard to convert their ETerm topics to online courses.  Since you will be working online, I have waived the “experiential” requirement for May 2020 due to these extraordinary circumstances.  The ETerm schedule remains the same.

Will I get a refund?

Yes.  If you were required to pay a travel fee for the course, you will receive a refund for the course fees.

What if my course has been canceled?

Do not fret.  We will assist you in registering for another ETerm course.  If you are also interested in waiting until May 2121 to complete the ETerm requirement, we are happy to assist you in making those plans.

What are the next steps?

  • You will be receiving a short survey tomorrow asking you to confirm your interest in taking the same course (but online) for your ETerm requirement.

  • If you choose to drop the ETerm class, we will complete the paperwork for you. If you are owed a refund, we will initiate the refund process for you.

  • If you choose to register for the new online ETerm class, we will drop you from the original class, issue you a refund, and reregister you for the new online course.

We will remain in constant communication with you throughout the next few weeks as you make decisions and we complete the necessary registration and refund procedures.  We are all learning new techniques and creative thinking throughout this global crisis. I am grateful that Ferrum College students always remain resilient and nimble during challenging times.

With Panther PRIDE!

Dr. Aimé Sposato

March 18, 2020 1:16 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Hi Panthers!

I hope you are well. I am just writing to check in on all of you. I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and that your first day of virtual learning is awesome! I wanted to give you a really quick update on COVID19 and what’s happening around the globe!


  • Total confirmed: 197,126 (as of 3/17/20 pm)
  • Total Deaths: 7,095
  • They believe they are close to using already approved medicine as a “cure” (a 100 year old man made a full recovery!)
  • They believe they are close to finalizing a possible vaccine.


  • Total cases: 4,226
  • Total deaths: 75
  • Jurisdictions reporting cases: 53 (49 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)

Virginia Department of Health:

  • 1,028 people tested
  • 67 confirmed cases (most in Arlington, Fairfax, & James City County)
Yesterday Governor Northam also put some things into place for us in Virginia:
  • No more than 10 patrons at restaurants and businesses at once
    • Essential services like manufacturers, distribution centers, airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, grocery stores, and pharmacies aren’t included.
  • Reduce public gatherings to 10 or less people
  • Virginians with chronic health conditions and those 65 and older are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID19 and should self-quarantine.
  • Additional Support for affected workers
An email from Dr. Johns came out this morning highlighting some of the things we are doing on campus! As more and more services close down, and less staff remain with us on campus, the possibility of consolidation into fewer buildings is imminent – though we understand the risk of putting everyone closer together, we also can’t deny the benefits:
  • If we end up in a position where we need to deliver food or medical care to you, this will be easier and faster.
  • Provide more targeted cleaning in common areas and shared spaces.
  • Provide computers in the common areas as labs close.
  • It will also allow us to provide staff in areas in case of emergencies.
We will continue to remain in touch as these plans progress. Please email as your plans change or if you have a roommate on campus that you would like to be paired with in the event of consolidation.
Stay well and healthy and keep washing those hands!
Nicole Lenez
Dean of Students & Title IX Coordinator

March 18, 2020 1:14 p.m.

Message from Dr. Sandra Via

Dear Students,

Today is the start of online classes. I know this is not ideal and is a difficult transition for you and your professors. Please be patient with your professors and with yourselves. As I mentioned in my email last week, I will be sending out messages to you every few days to check in and provide tips for staying on top of your coursework.

Here are some tips and reminders about online courses:

      1. Please be sure to check your email frequently as this is how your professors will be communicating with you the most.
      2. Back up your work!  You never know when the power is going to go out or have a computer issue. I recommend that all of you enable your Google Drive and backup your work there. Google Drive is available to all of you through your Gmail account.  Here is a link on how to enable and download Google Drive:
      3. Login to Brightspace daily and check your assignments. Many of your professors are uploading assignments with due dates later in the week.  However, it is still a good idea to login and make sure nothing has been uploaded that you missed.
      4. Contact your professors ASAP if you have limited or no Internet access at home!
      5. Find resources that are being provided by Internet and communications companies here: Several Internet and cell phone companies are providing free Internet access or extended data and hotspot access during this time. Please look into these options if you need them.
      6. Use the Online Writing Center. You can find the Online Writing Center on Brightspace. You may need to search for it, but it should appear under your courses on Brightspace.
      7. Please contact Ferrum College’s 24/7 Brightspace Technical Support Center if you are having Brightspace issues. You can contact them at 1-877-325-7778.  Email and Chat are also available through the following link:
      8. Contact the Ferrum College Help Desk by submitting a Help Desk ticket on Porta if you have computer or other technical issues.
      9. Set reminders or alarms on your phone for course assignments and due dates.
      10. Ask your professors for help if you need it!  We are here to help you and we want you to be successful in the course. We know that this is new to you and that you may need help.

Please continue to stay proactive and informed during this time. Ferrum College is continually updating the Ferrum College Coronavirus Updates Webpage at You can also find all of the information in this email at the Online Learning Resources page at

Good luck with your classes, and please ask for help if you need it!


Sandra Via
Director of the School of Graduate and Online Education Studies

March 18, 2020 11:12 a.m.

Message from President Johns

Dear Ferrum College Community:

I would like to update you on where we stand in our response to the Coronavirus pandemic. As we all know, the situation is changing rapidly throughout the country and the world. Our team is monitoring the latest developments on a daily basis, and we are implementing recommendations from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health as they are made available.

While we have established April 6th as the date for resuming normal campus operations, we will reassess this timeline based on information available to us and based upon recommendations from local health and government agencies.

The President’s Cabinet is meeting daily to consider new and updated information, review our responses, and make adjustments as necessary. Most administrative meetings are being conducted via video conferencing or by phone.

We continue to practice social distancing, we have cancelled large gatherings and meetings, and we are discouraging visitors from coming to campus.

We have implemented “grab and go” meals in the dining hall so students are not grouped together at mealtimes.

We will host our first Virtual Admissions Open House this weekend.

We have closed several buildings on campus, limiting access to them, in order to focus and intensify cleaning and disaffecting efforts in spaces that are being used by students and employees.

We are teaching all classes online, beginning today.

We have closed the College Fitness Center and the BRI, and we have reduced library hours for those students who remain on campus.

You may stay up to date with our communications about the coronavirus at:

It should go without saying that none of us want this kind of semester, but this is the semester we have. As often is the case, the best of who we are comes to the fore when we are faced with adversity and challenge, and this is true about Ferrum College at this time. I am proud of our faculty whose dedication to our students will not be stopped by any obstacle, and I am inspired by the determination of our staff who will not allow even a pandemic to dampen their spirit.

David L. Johns, Ph.D.

March 15, 2020 5:52 p.m.

Message from Dean of Students Nicole Lenez

Ferrum family,

First I want to thank you for your flexibility, grace, and cool heads as we traveled through some uncharted waters this week. I wanted to reach out and give you an update on both the virus and what we are doing on campus.

The President of the US declared a state of emergency this week – this doesn’t change what we know about the virus, just what funds the government can use to help. According to the Virginia Department of Health of the 408 people tests in Virginia, 45 were confirmed. Southwest Virginia still seems relatively untouched and the 3 students you may have heard about that were in isolation at Roanoke College last week tested negative. The CDC does not restrict travel within the US but asks anyone expecting to travel to consider the questions here. We will be continuing to monitor the situation very closely as things are rapidly and quickly changing and will keep you up to date as we adjust and change plans based on CDC and Virginia Health Department recommendations.

Social distancing graphicWhat we are doing across the country by canceling all gatherings, events, and face to face interactions is called social distancing. This is a non-pharmaceutical intervention used to stop or slow down the spread of infectious disease. There is some advice I heard to give this technique the best chance of success that I also want to share with you. Now that we have limited our population a bit by allowing students to go home, and ended almost all of our face-to-face meetings, we should pretend we are sick before making any decisions. For example, yesterday my family had puppy training class for our youngest four-legged baby. Before we left, I asked “if we had a slight fever or a cough right now, would we go?”. The answer was no… Not because we are afraid to catch it but because I don’t want to spread it to someone who may be at a higher risk than me, and because I don’t want to bring it to campus. I will ask that you all consider making decisions similarly while this is going on. I’ve attached an easy to understand graphic on social distancing but I must admit, I have no idea who created it to credit the artist.

For now, we have the following rules/procedures in place to help us prevent or slow the spread of the virus should it come to campus:

      • All group gatherings and events will be canceled including student activities (including clubs and orgs), parties, and athletics
      • There will be limited services and resources available
      • There are no guests permitted on campus –  no exceptions
      • You may need to be temporarily relocated to another space on campus
      • You can only travel locally (Rocky Mount)
      • If you are caught violating any campus policy, you will be required to leave campus immediately
      • If you indicate that you are staying on campus but decide to leave at any point during the Distance Learning Plan, please email
      • If you decide to leave campus, you cannot return until we officially reopen

The dining hall will be on limited hours to ensure deep cleaning between meals

A lot of you have been asking what next. Ideally, in two weeks, this virus will slow enough that it looks like we all overreacted – that is the goal! If it doesn’t slow down, or makes it to Franklin County and our small community I will be in constant communication as we adjust offerings of resources and follow all guidelines of the health department. Some of you probably heard about the quarantines in Wuhan and Italy. We are hoping the self distancing will make it so we don’t need to use those. If we get there, I will let you all know and let you know what that means for us.

These are scary times. If you are anxious, stop watching the news. Only get your information from the CDC and the health departments. The office of student life staff is also available to talk with you, whether on campus or away. Make an appointment by emailing Our counselor and Chaplin are also available for tele- counseling.

Please let us know if you or a family member get symptoms so we can monitor how everyone is doing.Sending lots of love and wash those hands!!!

Nicole Lenez

March 12, 2020

Dear campus community,

We have been monitoring carefully the unfolding COVID-19 situation and its impact. As always, the health and safety of our students and employees is our top priority. Thus, while there are no suspected cases of the coronavirus at Ferrum College, we will take the following actions:

      • Classes will meet as usual tomorrow; however, classes will be canceled Monday and Tuesday to allow for the transition to online instruction to begin Wednesday, March 18. We plan to resume in-seat classes on April 6.
      • To reduce the need for students to travel, the College will permit students to remain on campus, if they choose to do so. Students who choose to leave campus will not be permitted to return until the College resumes normal operations. During this time, residence halls and dining services will remain open.

In addition to these, the College is implementing the following steps, effective immediately:

      • Suspension of all College sponsored or supported travel that is non-essential to the operations of the College
      • Suspension of any non-essential gatherings or events. Please use your best judgment when considering rescheduling, conducting remotely, or canceling the gathering/event.
      • Suspension of athletic events and travel for all teams (competition and practice) beginning Monday, March 16

Additional information for both students and College personnel will be forthcoming.

We are presented with a public health crisis that has sparked uncertainty, fear, and anxiety worldwide. Yet, I am proud of the extraordinary care, support, and professionalism from the entire Ferrum College community during this time, and I want to express my appreciation to all of you for your commitment to each other.

We recognize that this is a developing situation, which we will monitor daily.

For more information about coronavirus and how to prevent it, click here.

March 6, 2020

Dear Ferrum College family:

All of us are following with interest news of the Coronavirus situation, which is changing by the hour. We are paying close attention to these developments and planning accordingly. I can assure you that the health and safety of all Panthers–students and employees–is of first concern every day of the week, and doubly so now. While we have no reason to believe there is an immediate threat to our campus, and while there are no cases (at this time) in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we are being proactive and taking additional steps to ensure a safe environment.

I would like to update you about a few of these.

      • First: I have appointed a Coronavirus Response Task Force. This task force, headed by Dean of Students, Nicole Lenez, will monitor the situation daily, report to me regularly, and provide direction as the situation unfolds.
      • Second: we are evaluating all plans for official College sponsored travel, domestic and international. At this time, we are not suspending any activities, but will continue to assess our decision in the weeks to come.
      • Third: as always, we are collaborating with the Tri Area Community Health Center, adjacent to campus, to provide care to the community for any health related issues.
      • Lastly: we are increasing our efforts in disinfecting public areas and will provide appropriate educational materials to keep our community informed.

We will act with prudence and caution, but not with fear or speculation. We will monitor the situation daily, communicate with the campus regularly, and maintain contact with the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to Nicole Lenez, Dean of Students, who is heading our Coronavirus Response Task Force (, 540-365-4461).


David L. Johns, Ph.D.