President David Johns updated the campus community regarding plans for fall 2020 in the letter, below.
Dear Ferrum Family,
On Saturday, May 9, we honored 200 graduates at our first ever virtual commencement ceremony. I am proud of our faculty, staff, and especially our students who showed remarkable perseverance this semester to reach this milestone. Although it was not the commencement any of us expected, it was nevertheless filled with joy, celebration, reflection, and hope as the class of 2020 turned its sights toward the future.
At Ferrum College, we are also looking toward the future, and have already begun planning for Fall 2020. While the COVID-19 crisis will alter higher education for the foreseeable future, we are committed to our mission of providing an educational experience that fosters intellectual curiosity and prepares students for meaningful lives and careers.
To that end, I am pleased to announce that we intend to reopen our campus this fall, to offer on-site instruction, and provide a residential experience for our students.
We are in the process of developing social distancing and safety protocols to ensure a safe campus environment, and we will continue to seek the guidance of our public health experts. While we are optimistic about returning to campus, we will not do anything to jeopardize the health and well-being of our students and community; thus we will provide regular updates throughout the summer about returning to campus, housing, athletics, classes, and more.
To provide more flexibility, fall semester will be divided into two terms, with classes beginning on August 25. Students will receive detailed information pertaining to their fall course registrations in the coming weeks.
Other changes will include:
- Preparing for smaller class sizes and using more open classroom spaces
- Providing additional grab n’ go dining options
- Expanding the number of single-occupancy rooms
- Maximizing our spacious 700-acre campus to ensure non-crowded campus life
This is an unprecedented time for many of us, but it is not unprecedented for our College. Founded on the eve of World War I, Ferrum has endured challenging times since its inception. And for over 100 years Ferrum responded to times of uncertainty with resilience (#FerrumMeansIron), commitment to each other (#NotSelfButOthers), and strength (#FerrumStrong).
The grit and determination that has sustained us in the past will carry us into the future. The values that have inspired the Ferrum Family for decades, inspire us still. We have not so much encountered an obstacle these past few months, as we have reached a turning point; this fall we begin a new chapter in the Ferrum story, and I invite each of you to be part of it.
With Panther Pride,
David L. Johns, Ph.D.