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Longwood moves to teaching online for remainder of semester

Longwood University students will not be returning to classes on campus this semester.

President W. Taylor Reveley IV announced in a Thursday night, March 19, letter to the Longwood community that the university will proceed with teaching online rather than in person for the remainder of the semester in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“However, we firmly commit to holding graduation in person — something so deeply important to so many,” he wrote. “We hope that means in mid-May as long planned, but we don’t yet know exactly when.”

He said all in-person events on campus are also canceled until further notice, adding that faculty may be in touch with students if they can develop viable distance or virtual alternatives for academic events such as recitals, concerts, art shows, the spring student showcase or theatre productions.

While fewer than 10% of students are on campus now, going forward the Longwood community also will need to be even more mindful of limiting campus activity and ensuring social distancing to fight COVID-19, Reveley stated.

“With today’s announcement, and continuing to follow guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, we are asking students who are able safely to return home to do so,” he wrote.

He indicated that registration arrangements could be made for students who have health or other important considerations for themselves or family members and need to remain in university housing. Students will need to register to continue to remain in campus housing no later than Monday, March 23.

“Students remaining should know dining services will be take-out only and facilities hours on campus limited,” he wrote. “If CDC guidance evolves and we are able to provide further services, we will do so.”

He directed Longwood community members to an extensive Q&A page that may answer further questions — http://www.longwood.edu/covid19/.

Reveley stated that university administration will evaluate how circumstances develop over the coming weeks and communicate with the Longwood community again by April 10, particularly with regard to commencement.

“Let me close for now by simply saying that this all is heartbreaking news to send,” he wrote. “To our seniors especially, you are losing a precious and irreplaceable time together here at this place we all love. The Alma Mater yearns to have you here, and in profound ways this will be home for you throughout life. I am incredibly sorry — and we all are incredibly eager to be together again. Longwood has prospered through turmoil and triumph alike, since 1839, onward ever.”